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Energy Conservation Urged Wednesday Due To High Demand

With hot temperatures and high energy demand across California, the state’s power grid operator is asking residents statewide to voluntarily conserve electricity this afternoon and evening when the grid is most stressed due to higher demand and energy supplies are tighter.

The Flex Alert, called by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), will be in effect today, Wednesday, Aug. 17 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. The grid operator is predicting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use.

The grid operator is asking all Californians to reduce electricity use during a Flex Alert to prevent further emergency measures, including rotating power outages.

Here are ways to cut power use and help keep the lights (and air conditioning) on for everyone, with the tips provided by Pacific Gas and Electric.

Today, before 4 p.m., Californians should:

Pre-cool your home or workspace. Lower your thermostat in the morning. As the temperature rises outside, raise your thermostat and circulate the pre-cooled air with a fan.

Use major appliances, including:

Washer and dryer


Oven and stove for pre-cooking and preparing meals

Close your shades: Sunlight passing through windows heats your home and makes your air conditioner work harder. Block this heat by keeping blinds or drapes closed on the sunny side of your home.


Today, during the Flex Alert from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Californians should:

Set your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting: Every degree you lower the thermostat means your air conditioner must work even harder to keep your home cool.

When it’s cooler outside, bring the cool air in: If the outside air is cool in the night or early morning, open windows and doors and use fans to cool your home.

Avoid using major appliances.

Turn off all unnecessary lights.


Customers can save energy and help the grid this summer by enrolling in PG&E’s new program, Power Saver Rewards. The free, voluntary program rewards participants for temporarily reducing energy use when demand is high. By conserving energy during Power Saver Rewards events coinciding with Flex Alerts customers earn $2 for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of energy saved. It’s easy to enroll and get rewarded for reducing energy use this summer. Visit to learn about the program and sign up.


If you’re working in an office setting, CAISO recommends the following:

Turn off any office equipment that is not currently in use. Alternately, look for sleep or power-saving modes in between uses during the day.

Enable power management settings on all computers so that they go to sleep and turn off screens when not in use.

Plug electronics such as coffeemakers and microwaves into power strips and switch them off when the day is done.

As you leave the office, get in the habit of checking to make sure computers, printers/copiers, and other office equipment is fully shut down. If possible, switch them off at the power strip to ensure they are no longer draining energy.


PG&E is prepared for the heat and, based on forecasts, doesn’t anticipate issues meeting increased demand for power.

Also, at this time, the grid operator has not indicated that it plans to call for rotating outages. PG&E does not project a need for a Public Safety Power Shutoff due to this weather, but the company’s meteorology team will continuously monitor conditions.