PG&E warns customers to prepare for possible power outages amid heat wave

Weather

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — “PG&E is preparing for power outages and we want customers to prepare for possible power outages as well.”

With the extreme temperatures rising over the next week in Northern and Central California, the California Independent System Operator — which manages the state’s power grid — has issued a statewide Flex Alert for Friday evening.

PG&E is urging its customers to conserve electricity during peak hours because of the high heat and a predicted increase in electricity.

They say they will not initiate a public safety power shut off.

The electric company is sending out more crews and equipment to handle any possible outages during the extreme heat.

They are also asking customers to conserve electricity in response to a statewide Flex Alert on Friday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m.

They ask that you adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, or turn it off if you will be away from home.

Unplug any power strips not in use, and put off vacuuming, laundry and dish washing until after 10 p.m.

While PG&E does not expect a public safety power shut off during this heat wave, they are preparing for possible shutoffs later this fire season but are hopeful they will be shorter than the ones seen last year that infuriated more than two million Northern Californians.

They say they are mindful that so many people are working from home right now and that they have learned from their mishandling of deliberate blackouts and won’t disrupt as many people’s lives during the coronavirus pandemic this year.

“We are installing more technology on the line throughout the Bay Area in the high fire threat areas to where we can pinpoint more accurately where we need to shut off the power due to the extreme weather threat that is coming into a specific area so the technology is helping us more accurately pinpoint who is going to be impacted who is actually in the fire threat area,” Deanna Contreras said.

The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat watches and warnings for portions of California.

The ISO asks consumers to avoid using power in the afternoon hours by following these tips:

  • Set thermostat at 78 degrees or higher
  • Cool with fans and draw drapes
  • Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances
  • Use major appliances in morning or late evening

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has also issued a Spare the Air alert for Friday in the Bay Area, encouraging people to stay inside to avoid unhealthy air quality from the smog.

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