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Grid Operator Issues Flex Alert For Tuesday, Sept. 6

Tuesday marks the seventh consecutive day the state’s grid operator, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), has called a Flex Alert. The alerts urge consumers to reduce their energy consumption between 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. to help reduce stress on the statewide power grid. A series of days of record-high temperatures has created an enormous demand for energy to power air conditioners, among other challenges.

Today could be among the most challenging days ever for the state’s energy grid. CAISO is forecasting Tuesday’s peak statewide electricity demand to be 50,087 megawatts (MW), which is just below the record of 50,270 MW set in 2006.

Widespread heat events pose unique challenges to the state’s energy grid. In addition to the energy supply concerns driving Flex Alerts, sustained high temperatures have the potential to damage electrical equipment, leading to local outages. Pacific Gas & Electric has activated its Emergency Operations Center and is mobilizing the necessary personnel and materials to be able to restore power safely and efficiently.

Here are ways for PG&E customers to reduce stress on statewide power supply:

Today, before 4 p.m.:

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

• Use major appliances, including: washer and dryer, dishwasher, oven and stove for pre-cooking and preparing meals.

• Charge electric vehicles.

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

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

• Set thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting: Every degree above 78 represents an appropriately 2 percent savings on cooling costs.

• When it’s cooler outside, bring the cool air in: If the outside air is cool during 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.

• Avoid charging electric vehicles.