SAN FRANCISCO—California’s power grid operator asked residents of California to conserve electricity on days where temperatures are higher. A Flex Alert was issued by the California Independent System Operator on July 28 from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

According to a press release, the grid operator is predicting an increase in electricity demand primarily for air conditioning use. With temperatures being higher than usual, energy supplies are scarce in afternoons and evenings due to the higher demand.

A Flex Alert is issued to help reduce electricity use during peak hours to help prevent emergency measures such as rotating power outages. Some ways PG&E customers can cut power use includes:

  • Pre-cool home or workspace by lowering the thermostat in the morning and using a fan to circulate cool air.
  • Set thermostat at 78 degrees or higher as health permits.
  • Let cool air in when temperatures drop outside.
  • Close shades to block sunlight.
  • Use a fan to cool down the house.
  • Charge electrical vehicles in the morning or after 9 p.m.
  • Clean the area around the air-conditioning unit to improve operation.

In a business setting, the CAISO recommends turning off office equipment that is not in use, enabling setting on computers to turn off screens when not in use, plugging coffee machines and microwaves into power strips and turning them off at the end of the day, and making sure all equipment is off when leaving the office.

Grid reliability can be protected by implementing these energy saving measures. According to PG&E, forecasts indicate that high power demand is not anticipated to be an issue.

PG&E is urging customers to stay safe during extreme heat and offers cooling centers for customers to escape the heat. To find a cooling center, customers may call 1-877-474-3266.