(KRON) — Statewide Flex Alerts have been issued for Friday and Saturday due to high heat and heightened demand for electricity, according to a press release from the California Independent System Operator (ISO). With much of the state in the grips of a sweltering heat wave, Friday marks the third straight day in a row a Flex Alert has been issued. Saturday will mark the fourth consecutive day of Flex Alerts.
What is a Flex Alert?
A Flex Alert is issued when the electricity grid is under stress due to generation or transmission outages, or from persistent hot temperatures. When a Flex Alert is issued, it means the state is asking people to voluntarily cut back on energy use to avoid putting too much stress on the power grid.
Friday’s alert takes effect at 4 p.m. and will remain in effect until 9 p.m. Saturday’s alert will also take effect at 4 p.m. and last until 9 p.m.
Triple-digit temperatures are forecast across much of California through the Labor Day holiday weekend and into next week. The power grid operator is expecting high energy demand from air conditioning use and is asking residents to take voluntary conservation steps to “help balance supply and demand” the press release states.
During an active Flex Alert, residents are advised to take the following precautions:
- Set thermostat to 78 degrees or higher
- Avoid using major appliances
- Turn off all unnecessary lighting
ISO also advises preemptive action that can be taken before a Flex Alert goes into effect, including:
- Pre-cool home by setting the thermostat to as low as 72 degrees
- Use major appliances, including: washer/dryer, dishwasher and oven
- Adjust blinds and drapes to cover windows
Flex Alerts this week have resulted in helpful conservation, according to the ISO and an emergency proclamation from Gov. Gavin Newsom has also freed up additional resources, the press release states. The release also states that Flex Alerts “cover the time of day when the grid is most stressed from higher demand and less solar energy.”
Reduced energy use during a Flex Alert is meant to help stabilize the power grid during times of increased demand and prevent emergency measures, such as rotating power outages.