Sunday Jan 29, 2023

California issues statewide power grid flex alert – Sonoma County Gazette


It might be cooler today in Sonoma County, but 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.

Saving Energy at Home

Here are ways Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) customers can cut their power use and help keep the lights (and air conditioning) on for everyone.

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 your washer and dryer, dishwasher and oven and stove for pre-cooking and preparing meals.
  • Washer and dryer
  • 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.

Make a Difference

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.

Another way to help reduce the amount of power on the grid during a Flex Alert is to enroll in PG&E’s SmartAC program. This year, new participants will receive $75 for existing thermostats or $120 off a new purchase of a thermostat with enrollment.

Customers can not be enrolled in both direct response programs.

Saving Energy at Your Office or Business

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

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