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California's power grid operator warns of potential for rotating outages

Posted at 6:17 PM, Jun 17, 2021

The California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which oversees the state's power grid, says there's a potential that some Californians could face rotating power outages Thursday evening.

If required, outages would take place between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., and last for one to two hours.

Earlier, CAISO issued a Flex Alert, a voluntary call for people to reduce electricity use between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m., due to increased power usage as a result of hot weather across the state. If demand exceeds supply, CAISO may ask energy companies to turn off power to help prevent larger outages to the grid.

PG&E says it is notifying customers in its service area that could be affected.

According to the San Luis Obispo County Office of Emergency Services, that may include the Paso Robles area.

To find out if your neighborhood could be affected, visit

CAISO has also issued a Flex Alert for Friday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

PG&E shared the following tips for customers to reduce energy use during the day:

  • Pre-cool your home or workspace by lowering your thermostat. Turn it off if you will be away from home.
  • Use a fan instead of air conditioning when possible.
  • Use major appliances, like your dishwasher or washer and dryer, early in the morning
  • Charge your electronic devices before the late afternoon
  • Set your pool pump to run overnight instead of during the day.
  • Keep your refrigerator full (with bottles of water if nothing else) and unplug your second refrigerator if you have one.

During the critical hours of 5 p.m. to 10 p.m., consumers are asked to:

  • Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, after cooling your home to below-normal levels in the morning.
  • Don’t charge your electric vehicle until after 10 p.m.
  • Draw drapes and turn off unnecessary lighting.
  • Limit the opening of refrigerators, a major user of electricity in most homes. The average refrigerator is opened 33 times a day.
  • Keep refrigerator full (with bottles of water if nothing else) and unplug your second refrigerator if you have one.
  • Avoid using major appliances, such as your oven. Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside.