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Heatwave prompts seventh consecutive day of statewide Flex Alert

Posted at 4:33 PM, Sep 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-07 01:22:21-04

As skyrocketing temperatures compel locals to turn on A/C or run their fans on full blast, how effective are Flex Alerts, actually, in preventing future outages?

Chances are you received a recent text message from the California Public Utilities Commission asking you to conserve energy during this ongoing heatwave. Tuesday, marking the seventh consecutive day the alerts have been in place.

"If these Flex Alerts weren't called and people weren't heeding to the action to conserve, we would have rolling outages," said Carina Corral, communications representative for PG&E. "But because people have heard the message over and over again, 4 to 9, conserve as much as you can, people are really doing that."

Still, PG&E takes into account that not everyone participates fully in energy conservation efforts.

"I am not going to do wash, dishwashers and that sort of thing, but I am going to run that little air conditioner," said Santa Maria resident Sharon Anyan.

"We are asking those who are able to put their thermostat at 78 degrees, health permitting, who are able to avoid some of these other energy uses, and that is making the difference. We understand that not everyone is going to be able to conserve," Corral told KSBY.

Others say they are happy to cut back on energy usage if it means helping others.

"To me, they are common sense alerts," said Nipomo resident Gerald Gregory. "We all need to help each other in the heat. We are in a drought and that is obvious and until that breaks, I think we will all have to conserve and be smart about it."

"If you are privileged enough to have a dishwasher and all that stuff, then you can afford to do without it. You know what I mean?" laughed Santa Maria resident Joey Guerrero.

Corral says she expects the Flex Alerts will continue into Wednesday. Until then, locals are still encouraged to hold off on running that dishwasher and A/C in the evening, and conserve when they can.

Back on the first of this month, the electricity demand in California hit its year-to-date peak of more than 47,000 megawatts, just two days after the start of the consecutive Flex Alert notices.

Tuesday afternoon, California's grid operator director PG&E to begin preparing for rotating power outages.

Officials say the short-term outages would help prevent future widespread ones, but as of now, implementation of these measures has still not been decided.