By Lynsey Paulo
PG&E urged customers to conserve electricity in response to a statewide Flex Alert called for today (Aug. 29) from 2 to 9 p.m. by the California Independent System Operator (ISO), which manages the state’s power grid.
A Flex Alert is an urgent call to immediately conserve electricity and shift demand to off-peak hours to ease strain on the grid. The ISO issued the alert in response to persistent high temperatures this week, which will increase expected demand for electricity to near record levels. According to the ISO, the forecast peak use today is expected to exceed 48,000 megawatts, which would be the highest energy demand on the grid seen so far this year.
PG&E encourages customers to reduce electricity use today, especially during the late afternoon when air conditioners are typically at peak use. Customers should follow these simple conservation tips:
- Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher or turn it off if you will be away from home. Use a fan instead of air conditioning, when possible.
- Draw drapes and turn off unnecessary lighting.
- Keep refrigerator full (with bottles of water if nothing else) and unplug the second refrigerator.
- Avoid using electrical appliances and devices. Put off tasks like vacuuming, laundry, dish washing and computer time until after 9 p.m.
- Set your pool pump to run overnight instead of during the day and evening hours.
In addition to customer conservation efforts, PG&E uses demand response programs to reduce strain on the grid during summer months. Demand response programs are voluntary and allow enrolled customers to receive an incentive for reducing their energy use during peak demand times, like weekday afternoons. Today, the company activated three demand response programs for business customers, reducing demand by approximately 69 megawatts of electricity.
Email Currents at Currents@pge.com.