With Southern California facing several days of record-breaking high heat, state officials have issued a Flex Alert for Monday from 10 a.m.-9 p.m., an immediate call for energy conservation to reduce stress on the statewide electrical grid, and help stave off possible rotating power outages.
On those days, the public can immediately limit the stress on the electrical network by: turning off all unnecessary lights, setting air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher and postponing the use of major appliances until after 9 p.m.
The California Independent System Operator issues these alerts hoping that conservation by the public will help decrease the demand on the electrical grid. Southern California Edison is asking customers to take part in the conservation efforts.
The system operator notes that the “Flex Alert campaign plays a key role in mitigating the risk of local reliability issues and is especially important in Southern California where the Aliso Canyon natural gas moratorium could cause supply shortages and threaten grid reliability.”
On Thursday, the system operator joined the California Public Utilities Commission and local natural gas and electric utilities, including SCE, for the Conserve Energy SoCal effort which encourages energy conservation. Natural gas storage facilities are important to maintaining electric system reliability, and conservation is needed because of the limited availability of natural gas locally.
Other ways customers can conserve energy include:
- Turn off unused appliances and equipment.
- Use electric fans instead of air conditioning when practical.
- Shut off lights when leaving a room.
- Close drapes and blinds to keep out direct sunlight during hot periods.
- Avoid using evaporative coolers or humidifiers at the same time an air conditioner is running.
- Operate swimming pool equipment and energy-intensive appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, during early morning and late evening hours.
- Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes.
- When possible, businesses should shift power-intensive work processes to morning or late evening hours.