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More energy conservation needed as CA expects record-breaking power demand

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Posted at 2:28 PM, Sep 05, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-05 17:28:48-04

California state officials are asking its citizens to do as much as they can to conserve energy as the state faces the peak of the heat wave Tuesday.

The California Governor's Office of Emergency Services held a press conference Monday with representatives from different agencies to discuss actions taken in response to the statewide heat event and ongoing wildfires.

State officials thank Californians for reducing their energy consumption over the past week. The energy demand was 2% below the forecast, Elliot Mainzer, President and CEO of California said.

However, California is anticipating close to recording-breaking power demand Tuesday and urges citizens to reduce energy use, especially when the Flex Alert is on (4 p.m. to 9 p.m.).

"We are looking at an energy deficit of two to four thousand megawatts which is as much as 10% of normal electricity demand," Mainzer said. "We need to use every tool available to get even greater energy savings today and tomorrow as this extreme heat wave extends to this week. In fact, we need two to three times as much conservation as we've been experiencing to keep the power on with these historically high temperatures in demand."

The ISO issued a statewide Flex Alert for six days straight, calling for consumers to cut their electricity use, Tuesday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. The alert has been extended to 10 p.m. tomorrow due to projected market deficiencies.

Siva Gunda, Vice Chair of the California Energy Commission, and Alice Reynolds, President of California Public Utilities Commission, said the most important thing consumers can do to conserve energy during this historic heatwave is to precool their houses and turn up the thermostats to 78F from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. when the Flex Alert is up.

Californians can also help reduce energy demand by turning off unneeded lights and using heavy electric appliances outside of the Alert window.

Besides energy conservation, state officials emphasized the importance of staying cool and preventing heat-related illnesses.

"The key message that we've been getting out to everybody is to be cool, be hydrated, be connected, and be informed," Dr. Tomás Aragón, Director of California Public Health, said.

People are also encouraged to reschedule or cancel outdoor gatherings and events in areas of extremely high heat risk.

To read the full press release, click here.