California Calls On Residents To Save Electricity Amid Extreme Heat

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) declared a state of emergency to increase energy production and limit demand during the hot weather.
A plane is seen taking off behind power lines in El Segundo, California, as authorities urged energy conservation across the state on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
A plane is seen taking off behind power lines in El Segundo, California, as authorities urged energy conservation across the state on Wednesday, Aug. 31.
PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images

California’s power grid operator on Thursday repeated a call for residents to conserve energy as the state battles extreme heat ahead of Labor Day.

The electrical grid is “most stressed from higher demand and less solar energy” from 4-9 p.m., said the California Independent System Operator. It issued a “Flex Alert” for Friday calling on residents to take action during those hours — the third day in a row with such a warning.

“With triple-digit temperatures in much of California and the West, the power grid operator is again expecting high electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use, and needs voluntary conservation steps to help balance supply and demand,” read a news release by the operator.

During the alert period, recommended steps include setting thermostats to a minimum of 78 degrees, refraining from using washing machines or other major appliances, and turning off lights when possible.

The news release said residents should operate energy-heavy machines or charge electric cars and devices before 4 p.m., when the grid is better positioned to deliver.

The operator said it hopes these voluntary steps will decrease the chances of mandatory power outages.

“Reducing energy use during a Flex Alert can help stabilize the power grid during tight supply conditions and prevent further emergency measures,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Wednesday declared a state of emergency to increase energy production and limit demand due to the extreme heat warnings.

“This is just the latest reminder of how real the climate crisis is, and how it is impacting the everyday lives of Californians,” Newsom said in a statement on the governor’s website.

“While we are taking steps to get us through the immediate crisis, this reinforces the need for urgent action to end our dependence on fossil fuels that are destroying our climate and making these heat waves hotter and more common.”

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