California ISO issues statewide Flex Alert

Bay City News
Wednesday, July 1, 2015

California power grid operators are urging residents to conserve power over the next two days as high temperatures tempt many to turn on their air conditioners.

Some areas of the Bay Area and the Central Valley experienced triple-digit temperatures today and Wednesday is forecasted to be even hotter.

Air conditioning use during such a heat wave can put a massive strain on the state's power grid, and while the California Independent System Operator isn't advising residents to turn off their air conditioners, it is recommending some steps to reduce that strain.

Residents have been asked to turn off unnecessary lights, not use major appliances until after 9 p.m. and set air conditioners at 78 degrees or higher.

Such measures could save up to 1,000 megawatts of electricity, enough to power a million households, and prevent blackouts, California ISO officials said.

The Flex Alert will be in effect from 2 p.m. until 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday.

A heat advisory is also in effect for large portions of the Bay Area, including the East Bay, North Bay, and Santa Clara Valley. Temps are expected to rise to the upper 90s and potentially as high as 108 degrees in inland areas of Contra Costa and Alameda counties, with the heat peaking on Wednesday afternoon.

California ISO offers these tips to help conserve energy:

  • Set thermostat at 78 or higher and turn off if away
  • Cool with fans and draw drapes
  • Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances
  • Use major appliances in early morning or late evening
  • How do you plan on beating the heat? Share your photos with us by tagging them Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook with #abc7now.

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