Weather hacks: PG&E offers energy saving tips for extreme California heat this week

·2 min read

PG&E has tips for customers to save energy and contribute to reduced energy demand between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. today, Aug. 17, as hot weather indirectly increases the potential for blackouts.

Extremely hot weather means residents will be turning on air conditioning in the late afternoon and when they return from work. This adds stress to the state power grid and, along with other energy use, could cause power outages.

For that reason, the California Independent System Operator, which manages electricity over the state's high-voltage transmission lines, has called for a Flex Alert for Wednesday, asking residents to conserve energy especially between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

What to know:

PG&E urges residential customers to avoid using large appliances such as dishwashers and washers and dryers between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. For businesses, shutting off computers at the end of the workday can have a big impact, PG&E spokesperson Tamar Sarkissian said.

"This is something that all Californians can help with," Sarkissian said, noting that small contributions can make a big difference. Businesses that want to help can turn off any office equipment not currently in use, use sleep or power saving modes when possible, and enable power management settings.

PG&E officials also encourage businesses to fully turn off printers and copiers at the end of the day and, if possible, turn them off at the power strip.

At home, Sarkissian also urges customers to turn off unnecessary lights, keep out the heat by closing shades on the sunny side of the home and set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher if health permits.

PG&E has programs that allow large businesses to save or earn money by changing their energy use. These programs are called demand response programs, and more information can be found at pge.com under the large business tab.

Programs for residential customers can be found also at pge.com under the residential tab and "Save Energy and Money" tab.

"We also urge our customers to stay safe during this extreme heat," Sarkissian said.

Cooling centers set up by PG&E are available in some areas and cities and counties are also opening centers for residents.

Sarkissian said the California Independent System Operator is not planning any rolling blackouts Wednesday, and PG&E is not planning a public safety power shutoff.

This article originally appeared on The Record: High temperatures place stressful demands on California power grid