San Francisco, Calif. (Aug. 19, 2020) — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) strongly urges customers to conserve energy to help prevent the need for rotating outages. The state’s electric grid operator, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), issued a Flex Alert previously that remains in force for Wednesday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. PG&E meteorologists are forecasting the heatwave to continue and continue through Thursday.
On Tuesday, PG&E and other California utilities informed customers of potential outages due to high demand driven by the continued heatwave. Customers across the state responded to the call to conserve energy, helping to avert the need for rotating outages for the third day in a row.
Conservation is critical to help reduce the need for the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to direct the state’s utilities, including PG&E, to implement rotating outages in order to reduce load. With the weather forecasted to remain hot, PG&E urges customers to be prepared for power outages.
Separate from the impact on rotating outages, conservation is also the best way to prevent stress and strain on the local power grid, helping to reduce other heat-caused power outages.
PG&E Tips to Save Energy and Reduce Usage
PG&E strongly urges all customers to conserve energy through Thursday.
- Raise the thermostat: Cool homes and use air conditioners more during morning hours. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when at home during the rest of the day, health permitting. Turn it up to 85 degrees or turn it off when not at home.
- Use a ceiling fan: Turn on a ceiling fan when using the air conditioner, which will allow the thermostat to be raised about 4 degrees to save on cooling costs with no reduction in comfort. Turn off fans and lights when you leave the room.
- Cover windows: Use shade coverings and awnings so the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool the home.
- Avoid using the oven: Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside.
- Limit the opening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes. The average refrigerator is opened 33 times a day.
- Clean clothes and dishes early: Use large energy-consuming appliances like washing machines and dishwashers earlier in the day or late at night after 10:00 p.m.
PG&E Tips to Stay Safe and Cool
- Plan ahead: Check the weather forecast to prepare for hot days.
- Keep an emergency contact list: Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
- Have a buddy system: Check in on elderly or frail people.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, even when you are not thirsty.
- Stay cool: Take a cool shower or bath and wear lightweight, loose, light-colored clothing.
- Stay safe: Stay out of direct sunlight and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
PG&E also funds the operation of existing county- or city-run cooling centers throughout the state. These centers fill a critical need for those who might not have the means to cool and shelter themselves from prolonged hot temperatures.
To find a cooling center near you, please call your local city or county government, or call PG&E’s toll-free cooling center locator line at 1-877-474-3266 or visit pge.com/coolingcenters.