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Flex Alert issued for Labor Day Weekend, residents urged to conserve energy

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Posted at 10:40 AM, Sep 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-04 20:40:47-04

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO) has issued a Flex Alert as temperatures are expected to soar this Labor Day Weekend.

"A Flex Alert is a call to consumers to voluntarily cut back on electricity and shift electricity use to off-peak hours (normally after 9 p.m.). Ideally, a Flex Alert is most effective when issued a day in advance of when conservation is needed so consumers have time to adjust electricity usage ahead of time, such as turning the thermostat up or off before leaving for work."

As a result of the Flex Alert, Pacific Gas and Electric Company is asking residents to conserve energy, especially from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday through Monday.

According to 23ABC's Chief Meteorologist Elaina Rusk, smoke and haze will continue to affect the region through at least next Tuesday with no rain in the forecast for the next 10 days. Bakersfield is expecting a high of 97 Thursdayday with air quality that remains unhealthy for sensitive groups. The Kern River Valley will also be in the upper 90s and the southern mountains will see the upper 80s. The desert sees widespread triple digits this afternoon.

An Excessive Heat Warning is in effect for Friday as the 100s return and then soar for the weekend ahead. The area is looking at a possible high of 106 on Saturday, 108 on Sunday, and 106 again on Labor Day Monday.

PG& provided some tips to reduce energy during the alert:

  • Avoid using electrical appliances and devices from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. Put off tasks such as vacuuming, laundry, dishwashing and computer time until after 9 p.m.
  • Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher or turn it off if you will be away from home. Use a fan instead of air conditioning when possible.
  • Draw drapes and turn off unnecessary lighting.
  • Limit the opening of refrigerators, which is a major user of electricity in most homes. The average refrigerator is opened 33 times a day.
  • Keep the refrigerator full (with bottles of water if nothing else) and unplug your second refrigerator, if you have one.
  • Avoid using the oven. Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside.
  • Set your pool pump to run overnight instead of during the day.

PG&E also provides tips to stay cool during the alert:

  • 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.