Pacific Gas and Electric company today urged customers to conserve electricity in response to a flex alert called by the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid.
A Flex Alert is an urgent call to immediately conserve electricity and shift demand to off-peak hours to ease strain on the grid. Caiso issued the alert for August 10 through August 12 after a large power plant in southern California tripped offline last night, and in response to forecasts that temperatures will continue rising through the weekend, increasing expected demand for electricity for air conditioning to near record levels.
Customers are urged to begin reducing their energy use today, particularly between 11 A.M. And 6 P.M., when demand is highest.
Customers should follow these simple conservation tips:
• Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher or turn it off if you will be away from home. Use a fan instead of air conditioning, when possible.
• Draw drapes and turn off unnecessary lighting.
• Keep refrigerator full (with bottles of water if nothing else) and unplug the second refrigerator.
• Avoid using electrical appliances and devices. Put off tasks like vacuuming, laundry, dish washing and computer time until after dinner.
• set your pool pump to run overnight instead of during the day.
In addition to customer conservation efforts, PG&E uses “demand response” programs to reduce strain on the grid during summer months. Demand response programs are voluntary and allow enrolled customers to receive an incentive for reducing their energy use during peak demand times, like weekday afternoons. In response to the flex alert, PG&E has activated five demand response programs for more than 4,000 business locations, reducing demand by several hundred megawatts of electricity.