Power Alert: How to track California’s energy use

Central Valley Heat Wave

Texans who shopped for electricity in 2014 paid more on average than folks who only had one power option. (Photo by Dan Atrill via The Texas Tribune)

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The California Independent System Operator released a real-time tracker so residents can check how much of a strain they are putting on the power grid.

It comes as the agency issued Power Alerts amid a heat wave, urging Californians to reduce their energy use in the evening hours due to mass use of air conditioning and fans.

On Thursday – the hottest day of the week – the Power Alert is in effect from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

As of noon, the current demand is at 33,500 MW. The available capacity is about 52,924 MW.

Check the live tracker by tapping or clicking here.

“The public’s help is essential when extreme weather or other factors beyond our control put undue stress on the electric grid,” said Elliot Mainzer, president and chief executive officer of the ISO. “We have seen the huge impact that occurs when consumers pitch in and limit their energy use. Their cooperation can really make a difference.”

Some things you can do during the day to prepare for the Power Alert is draw your curtains so the sun isn’t shining into your home and adding extra heat. You can also make sure to charge your device before 5 p.m., and postpone laundry day.

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