UPDATE: State Urges Continued Reduction in Energy Use, as Heat Wave Lingers

Historic high demands put even greater strain on the state’s power supply.

Updated Sept. 9, 2022

As the heat wave continues throughout the state, the California Independent System Operator called for a
Flex Alert for Sept. 9, urging a continued reduction in power usage in the late afternoon and evening. The Flex Alert remains in effect from 4-9 p.m. today and could possibly continue throughout the rest of the week.

In a recent news release, CAISO stated: “Consumer and commercial demand response, including Flex Alerts, has been helping to extend sparse supplies at critical hours so far this week, giving operators extra cushion in supplies. Yesterday, demand response conservation was scheduled to save about 2,000 MW of power when it was most needed. Emergency assistance added another approximate 800 MW of power on the system.”

The National Weather Service also issued an excessive heat warning, stating the record-breaking heat wave may linger this weekend. Fire weather conditions remain elevated to critical the next two days and flood watches are in effect from Hurricane Kay tropical moisture.

Additionally, CAISO declared an Energy Emergency Alert 1 (EEA1) from 4 to 9 p.m. today. EEA1 signals that all resources are committed or forecasted to be in use and that energy deficiency is expected. If conditions worsen, EEA2 triggers the deployment of emergency tools designed to keep supply and demand for the power system balanced during extreme conditions, potentially freeing up a few thousand megawatts of additional resources.

VIDEO: How high heat can strain the state's power supply.

Additionally, CAISO has implemented Restricted Maintenance Operations through Friday, Sept. 9, from noon-10 p.m. each day to “ensure all available generation and transmission lines are in service.”

Customers can report or inquire about outages at 800-611-1911 and get the latest information using the SCE outages app at sce.com/outages. You can also get news and updates by visiting: sce.com/staysafe, twitter.com/sce and facebook.com/sce.

SCE reminds customers that if they see a downed power line, stay away and call SCE at 800-611-1911 or call 911.

To prepare for the Flex Alert, customers can take these steps before 3 p.m.:

  • “Pre-cool” homes or lower air-conditioning thermostats.
  • Charge electric vehicles.
  • Charge mobile devices and laptops.
  • Run dishwashers, washing machines and other major appliances.
  • Set pool pumps to run in the early morning or late at night.

Here are some other ways customers can conserve energy:

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and to 85 degrees or “off” when you are away.
  • Cook with a grill outside or microwave to keep your home cooler.
  • Give your air conditioner a rest when you can, and cool your home with open windows and fans.
  • Shut off lights when leaving a room.
  • Close your blinds to keep out the afternoon heat.
  • Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are significant electricity users in many homes.
  • Plug home electronics into power strips and turn off power strips when equipment is not in use.
  • Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they are not in use.
  • Give your dryer a break and hang dry your clothes.
  • Businesses should shift power-intensive work to the morning or evening hours when possible.

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