As Extreme Heat Continues to Push Electricity Demand Higher Across the West, State’s Grid Operator Directs Utilities to Prepare for Potential Rotating Power Outages
The California Independent System Operator Monitors Electricity Demand and Will Determine Whether Rotating Outages Are Needed
PG&E Urges Customers to Continue to Conserve Power Through
Rotating outages are a series of controlled outages that would affect customers for 1-2 hours. Rotating outages would relieve stress on the grid to help prevent more widespread power outages.
To help avert rotating outages, the
For the past week, Californians and
If electricity demand conditions do not improve, CAISO could direct
For purposes of rotating outages, PG&E’s service area is divided into areas called blocks. Each block is made up of several neighborhoods. Customers can visit www.pge.com/rotatingoutages or check their printed bill for details and to check if their outage block may be affected.
Widespread heat events pose unique challenges to the state’s energy grid. In addition to the energy supply concerns driving Flex Alerts, sustained high temperatures have the potential to damage electrical equipment, leading to local outages.
Heat-related equipment outages can occur during periods of sustained high temperatures. Transformers, which distribute power to homes and businesses, need a period of time when they can cool down, which usually happens overnight when energy usage and temperatures drop. Heat events with sustained high overnight temperatures can put stress on transformers, causing them to fail. This is more likely to occur in area where coastal influence normally results in lower evening temperatures, rather than in interior valleys that routine experience extremely hot weather.
How Customers Can Reduce Energy Right Now
Here are ways for
Today, during the Flex Alert from
- Set thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting: Every degree above 78 represents an appropriately 2% savings on cooling costs.
- When it’s cooler outside, bring the cool air in: If the outside air is cool during the night or early morning, open windows and doors and use fans to cool your home.
- Avoid using major appliances.
- Turn off all unnecessary lights.
- Avoid charging electric vehicles.
How Customers Can Prepare for Potential Power Outages
- Have a flashlight, radios, and fresh batteries ready. For more information on how to prepare for an emergency, visit PG&E’s Safety Action Center.
Use cooling centers to stay cool or during a power outage. Check with your city or county, or the Governor’s
Office of Emergency Serviceslist and map of cooling centers statewide.
- Operate personal generators safely. Follow the owner’s manual and perform a visual inspection before starting or operating a generator. When setting up a generator, place it on a flat, stable surface to reduce the likelihood of it tipping over. To prevent carbon monoxide poisoning, never operate an engine-powered generator in an enclosed space or inside a house or a tent.