Press "Enter" to skip to content

Californians urged to conserve electricity as heatwave strains power grid

Officials urged Californians Sunday, Aug. 16, to conserve power and help stem potential blackouts during a heatwave that is expected to drive up the need for electricity this week.

The California Independent System Operator issued a state-wide flex alert effective from Sunday through Wednesday.

The warning was made in response to soaring demand for electricity that was largely due to the use of air conditioning as triple-digit temperatures roasted parts of Southern California. It calls upon residents to voluntarily limit their consumption of power during peak usage periods between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

“It’s really a lot of the same advice your mother might have given you while growing up,” Southern California Edison spokeswoman Julia Roether said. “Remember to turn off the lights and don’t stand in front of the refrigerator with the door open to cool off, that sort of thing.”

Small things like scheduling the use of laundry machines and other appliances outside of peak hours, setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher and unplugging a spare refrigerator that isn’t in use can significantly reduce strain on the power grid, Roether said. However, planned or unplanned outages may still be a possibility as numerous residents rely on air-conditioning to mitigate the oppressive heat forecast this week.

California’s electrical grid returned to near-normal operation over the weekend after demand briefly outpaced the supply of power Friday. The unexpected loss of a 470-megawatt power plant and about 1,000 megawatts of wind power amidst a heat wave prompted the California Independent System Operator to declare a Stage 3 Electrical emergency for the first time since 2001. It resulted in rotating outages that affected about 70,000 utility customers.

The grid was restored by about 9 p.m., but demand for electricity will remain high as extreme temperatures persist in Southern California. The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory for the Greater Los Angeles Area that would remain in effect through the first half of the week.

Source: Orange County Register

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: