California issues flex alert for Labor Day holiday

Photo by Olga Subach on Unsplash

By Caroline Aoyagi-Stom / Energized by Edison Editor

On the heels of a record-breaking, week-long heat wave, SoCal residents will need to brace for more high temperatures this weekend and early next week in time for the Labor Day holiday.

The California Independent System Operator has issued a Flex Alert for this Saturday, September 5 through Monday, September 7, calling for energy conservation from 3-9 p.m., periods when energy demand is expected to be the highest.

Weather forecasters are predicting temperatures 10 to 20 degrees higher than normal. Excessive heat warnings have been issued throughout Southern California, including Orange County, Los Angeles County, Inland Empire, Coachella Valley and the San Bernardino Mountains.

Southern California Edison and other electric utilities are partnering with the state to encourage residential and business customers to conserve energy, especially during high-usage periods from 3–9 p.m.

In addition to setting thermostats at 78 degrees, customers are encouraged to use their blinds and disconnect devices that are not being used. SCE customers can also access rebates, programs and other energy-saving tools at: energy saving tips. As more customers take these actions, conservation will go a long way.

Information on CAISO issued Flex Alerts are available at: flexalert.org. SCE customers can report or inquire about outages at 800-611-1911 and get the latest information using the outages app at sce.com/outages. You can also get information and updates by visiting: sce.com/staysafe, twitter.com/sce and facebook.com/sce.

SCE reminds customers that if they see a downed power line, stay away and call SCE at 800-611-1911 or call 911.

Here are some other ways customers can conserve energy:

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and to 85 degrees or “off” when you are away.
  • Cook with a grill outside, or microwave, to keep your home cooler.
  • Give your air conditioner a rest when you can and cool your home with open windows and fans.
  • Shut off lights when leaving a room.
  • Close your blinds to keep out the afternoon heat.
  • Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in many homes.
  • Plug home electronics into power strips and turn off power strips when equipment is not in use.
  • Unplug electronic devices and chargers when they aren’t in use. Give your dryer a break and hang-dry your clothes.
  • When possible, businesses should shift power-intensive work to morning or late-evening hours.

To prepare for the Flex Alerts, customers can also take these steps before 3 p.m.:

  • “Pre-cool” homes, or lower air conditioning thermostats.
  • Charge electric vehicles.
  • Charge mobile devices and laptops.
  • Run dishwashers, washing machines and other major appliances.
  • Set pool pumps to run in the early morning or late at night.
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