SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. - A major heat wave is expected to hit California this Labor Day weekend and Pacific Gas & Electric is urging customers to conserve energy to prevent possible outages.
The California utility says a Flex Alert has been issued by the state's grid operator, meaning high power demand is expected due to the high temperatures.
PG&E said customers should try to reduce energy between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday through Monday.
The utility provided the following tips for conserving power.
- Avoid using electrical appliances and devices from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. Put off tasks such as vacuuming, laundry, dish washing 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 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.
The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) at this time has not made any indication that there will be rotating outages like in August.
For more information about the CAISO and Flex Alerts, click here.
PG&E also said customers should plan ahead, keep an emergency contact list, and stay cool and hydrated throughout the day.
For more summer safety tips, click here.