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PG&E warns of more potential blackouts to conserve energy statewide

Pacific Gas and Electric helmet PG&E generic

As of 4:21 p.m., California ISO said they do not expect any outages will be necessary on Saturday.

Pacific Gas and Electric announced that they may be required to conduct rotating power outages again Saturday evening.

These outages would occur between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m. and last one to two hours each. Residents should not be impacted overnight

A final decision on whether or not they will occur will be made by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) later Saturday. At this time, CAISO has issued a Grid Warning Notice.

Rotating outages occur when the demand for electricity statewide exceeds what is available on the grid. In the summer, this can be caused by excessive heat encouraging residents to turn on air conditioners for extended periods of time. Cloud cover can also exacerbate the issue by impacting the state's solar assets.

PG&E said their emergency operations center is open and a team will continue to monitor the power situation throughout the weekend and into next week.

As the statewide heatwave continues, PG&E strongly encourages all customers to conserve energy through next Wednesday. Other power utilities in the state may be requested to take similar measures.

On Friday night, PG&E and other power utilities were directed by CAISO to enact rotating blackouts, affecting hundreds of thousands of residents statewide, to help relieve the strain on the power grid during the heatwave. These rotating one-hour outages started around 8 p.m. and continued until 11 p.m. in some areas.

PG&E lists the following tips for residents in order to help conserve energy during this heatwave:

  • Raise the thermostat: Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when at home, health permitting. Turn it up to 85 degrees or turn it off when not at home.
  • Use a ceiling fan: Turn on a ceiling fan when using the air conditioner, which will allow the thermostat to be raised about 4 degrees to save on cooling costs with no reduction in comfort. Turn off fans and lights when you leave the room.
  • Cover windows: Use shade coverings and awnings so the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool the home.
  • Avoid using the oven: Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside.
  • Limit the opening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes. The average refrigerator is opened 33 times a day.

As always, everyone is urged to drink plenty of water and limit their sun-exposure and strenuous activity during the heatwave.

Article Topic Follows: California

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Jessica Brest

Jessica Brest is a digital journalist and assignment editor for NewsChannel 3-12. To learn more about Jessica, click here.


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