Flex Alert issued for Labor Day weekend due to high temps


FOLSOM, Calif. (KRON) — A heat wave is coming to the Bay Area this weekend and the state’s grid operator has issued a Flex Alert.

This alert comes less than a month after the state implemented its first rolling blackouts in nearly 20 years.

PG&E is asking customers to conserve energy to avoid power outages.

Triple digit temperatures are expected during the upcoming holiday weekend, and a Flex Alert has already been issued.

“And with that, we are asking our customers to be prepared for possible heat related outages on Sunday into Monday,” Deanna Contreras with PG&E said.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) manages the power grid. As of right now, they do not anticipate rotating power outages, and PG&E does not foresee initiating a public safety power shut off — however, this could all change — as heat related outages can occur when temperatures are in triple digits for an extended amount of time — as forecasted for this weekend.

For now — the electric company is urging customers to be aware of the Flex Alert and conserve energy this weekend.

They ask you avoid using electrical appliances and devices from 3 to 9 p.m. on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

And to adjust the thermostat to 78 degrees or turn it off if you are not home, unplug any power strips not in use and put off household chores like vacuuming, laundry and dishwashing.

“Every little bit helps,” Contreras said. “Any chance that you can conserve energy reduces the chances of caiso from calling for those rotating outages because the more we can conserve that will beef up the supply and reduce the chances of those rotating outages.”

The ISO advises Californians to conserve electricity in the afternoons and evening. Here’s what it suggests to do:

  • Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees, if health permits.
  • Defer use of major appliances.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights.
  • Unplug unused electrical devices.
  • Close blinds and drapes.
  • Use fans when possible.
  • Limit time the refrigerator door is open.

Here’s what you can do before 3 p.m. each day the Flex Alert is in effect:

  • “Pre-cool” their homes, or lower air conditioning thermostats.
  • Charge electric vehicles.
  • Charge mobile devices and laptops.
  • Run dishwashers, washing machines and other major appliances.
  • Set pool pumps to run in the early morning or late at night.

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