A Flex Alert went into effect Thursday afternoon as an unseasonable heat wave brought concerns of possible power shortages to California.

Residents are urged to conserve electricity while the alert is in effect, which is between 3 and 10 p.m., according to the California Independent System Operator.

During that time, residents are encouraged to take the following actions: set the air condition thermostat to 78 degrees and turn on fans instead, if possible; avoid using major appliances; keep unnecessary lights off; unplug electrical devices that aren’t in use; and shut blinds and drapes.

More tips can be found at  https://www.flexalert.org/.

Additionally, the ISO issued a Grid Alert, warning of a potential electricity shortage for an hour starting at 6 p.m.

“Consumers are urged to conserve electricity, especially during the late afternoon and early evening, when the grid is most stressed due to higher demand and solar energy production falling,” read a news release from ISO, which manages the state’s grid.

The operator predicts a spike in electricity demand that will be caused mostly from air conditioning use, as residents try to keep cool amid temperatures that could reach 15 to 20 degrees above normal.

Southern California experienced another day of sweltering heat Thursday, with some parts again hitting triple-digit temperatures during the prolonged fall heat wave.

Because the hot weather is coming during autumn, the grid “doesn’t have as much energy available as summer months, when high demand is expected,” ISO officials explained in the release.

Another concern for the state is wildfires, which continue to threaten transmission lines, according to ISO.

Amid the intense heat, firefighters continue to battle numerous blazes — mostly in Northern California, currently — during a record-breaking fire season that has already seen five of the state’s largest infernos on record.


By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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