Flex Your Power, California!

Image: Freedigitalphotos.net

Summer is near the end and the heat is on! All over the beautiful, sunny state of California, residents have seen sweltering temperatures reaching 100-plus degrees on the thermostat. To cope with the heat, as well as prevent heat-related sicknesses, people tend to stay indoors within an air conditioned room. Since it is also very warm at night, the air conditioners not only work through the day, but all throughout the night as well.

The National Weather Service has issued a “hazardous weather outlook” for the entire southern California area, which confirms the heat wave to continue, but to also bring monsoon-like weather. This increase of heat leads to more overall use of energy from the nearby power plants. Southern California is already in an energy crisis, with the San Onofre nuclear plant off line and other nearby plants being drained.

To deal with the already high demand of power and keep Southern California from being completely shut down, power is being pulled from other parts of California by Sunrise Powerlink and Barre-Ellis transmission lines. The extra demand of energy, as the heat wave drags on for already a week, can cause rolling blackouts statewide and many people without power. In conserving energy and prevent these blackouts, state officials have issued a Flex Alert.

According to flexalert.org, a “Flex Alert is an urgent call to Californians to immediately conserve electricity and to shift demand to off-peak hours (after 6 p.m.).” An effective Flex Alert can save thousands of precious megawatts and prevent blackouts statewide. When a Flex Alert is called, residents at home and work should turn off all unnecessary lights, electronics, and appliances; adjust the air conditioning to 78 degrees or higher, and use a fan, if possible; and postpone using major appliances, such as a laundry washer and dryer, until after 6 p.m.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) monitors and issues the Flex Alerts to prevent power outages. Flex Alerts have and will be issued through the news media, posted on the ISO website, as well as the ISO’s Facebook and Twitter pages, and residents can sign up to be notified by ISO. Flex Alerts in California have already been called for last weekend, August 10th through the 12th, and has been issued again for Monday through Tuesday, August 13th through the 14th to prevent any power disruptions. Visit flexalert.org for more ways to conserve energy.

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