FOLSOM, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Californians should prepare for possible outages on Tuesday evening due to one of the hottest temperatures forecasted that will likely push electricity demand to an all-time high, the California Independent System Operator (ISO) warns.
If that happens, consumers will receive notifications from electricity providers in the affected areas and for how long will these outages last.
On Tuesday, the state declared an Energy Emergency Alert (EEA) 2 effective from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. which prompts participants to give up energy usage allowing the ISO to tap into emergency demand response programs that provide financial incentives for clients who save power during the described times.
Officials say on Monday the peak energy demand was 49,020 megawatts (MW), but between the conservation efforts and emergency sources, was possible to avoid outages.
“We’ve been in this heat wave for about a week, but this is the hottest day we’ve seen and really one of the concerns when we have this many consecutive days of really hot temperatures,” said Jeff Smith with Pacific Gas & Electric. “Particularly when it doesn’t cool off at night, that could be really taxing for the electrical equipment.”
On Tuesday night, electricity demand has been forecasted at more than 52,000 (MW), something experts say is “a new historic all-time high for the grid because the state faces the hottest day in this record-breaking heat wave” that will worsen the grid conditions.
“This is the time to start initiating those conservation efforts, like shutting the lights off, unplugging laptops, chargers,” said Gabriela Ornelas with Southern California Edison. “Hopefully now folks have stopped using larger appliances like the washer machine or dishwasher.”
As a precaution, customers are encouraged to check their utility websites/apps to have access to the outage maps and preparation tips.
To access the PG&E map, click here.
To protect the grid, consumers and businesses can:
- Reduce electricity usage from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
- Pre-cool their homes by setting thermostats as low as 72 degrees.
- Cook, do laundry and run dishwashers earlier in the day.
- Turn off unnecessary lights.