California asks residents to make power cutbacks
California's Independent System Operator (CAISO) asked residents to make voluntary reductions to energy consumption August 31 as a way of tackling an expected surge in air conditioning demand, energy utility Pacific Gas and Electricity Company announced August 31.
The so-called "Flex Alert" was in effect from 16:00 to 21:00 yesterday, and triggered a recommendation from Californian utility PG&E that Californians keep thermostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, using more air cooling in the morning to retain cold air throughout the day.
CAISO's bulletin was triggered by an executive order from the Californian governor Gavin Newsom August 31. Newsom said: "It is pretty clear Mother Nature has outrun us. The reality is we’re living in an age of extremes -- extreme heat, extreme drought.”
It came as CAISO warned of historic power cuts amid a sustained heatwave that has battered supplies from Californian hydro dams, Bloomberg said. Power usage is set to reach five-year highs next week, at a time when Russia's war in Ukraine has ramped up pressure on European grids and global trading markets. In offices, businesses were asked to switch off unused equipment or activate power-saving mode, and apply power management settings on all work computers.
Around 245,000 household and business customers are enrolled into PG&E's Demand response programme, which offers Flex Alert as a way of encouraging reduced energy usage during times of peak demand.