For the third straight day, high heat and heightened demand for electricity has resulted in the California Independent System Operator (ISO) issuing a statewide call for voluntary electricity conservation. The most recent Flex Alert has been issued for Friday, Sept. 2., from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
With triple-digit temperatures in much of California and the West, the power grid operator is again expecting high electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use, and needs voluntary conservation steps to help balance supply and demand.
Flex Alerts have been resulting in some helpful conservation and grid operators and an emergency proclamation from Gov. Gavin Newsom, requested by the ISO, has also freed up some additional resources.
A Restricted Maintenance Operations (RMO) remains in place through Tuesday, Sept. 6, each day from noon to 10 p.m. The declaration orders market participants to avoid any scheduled routine maintenance during those times to ensure all available resources are in service. View the Emergency Notifications fact sheet for more information.
The Flex Alert covers that time of day when the grid is most stressed from higher demand and less solar energy. During that time, consumers are urged to conserve power by setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits, avoiding use of major applicances and turning off unnecessary lights.
To minimize discomfort and help with grid stability, consumers are also encouraged to pre-cool their homes and use major appliances and charge electric vehicles and electronic devices before 4 p.m., when conservation begins to become most critical.
Reducing energy use during a Flex Alert can help stabilize the power grid during tight supply conditions and prevent further emergency measures, including rotating power outages.
For information on Flex Alerts, and to find more electricity conservation tips, visit the ISO’s Flex Alert website.
Tips before a Flex Alert:
- Pre-cool home by setting the thermostat to as low as 72 degrees
- Use major appliances:
- Washer and dryer
- Oven and stove for pre-cooking and preparing meals
- Adjust blinds and drapes to cover windows
Tips during a Flex Alert from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.:
- Set thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits
- Avoid using major appliances
- Turn off all unnecessary lights
A Flex Alert is issued by the ISO when the electricity grid is under stress because of generation or transmission outages, or from persistent hot temperatures.