Power Outage and Flex Alert 101
DCARA has important information to share with the community.
[Video description: This vlog is sharing the details about Flex Alert notification system by Ayisha, a biracial female, is wearing a vivid burgundy blouse standing in front of a light colored background.]
During fire season and heat waves we have been experiencing lately, you might have seen this term, Flex Alert.
Here is more information. What is a Flex Alert? A Flex Alert is a call to conserve electricity during a heat wave when power usage overtakes electricity supply and other challenging grid conditions. Who issues a Flex Alert? A Flex Alert is issued by the California Independent System Operator (ISO), a nonprofit corporation that operates the high voltage grid in California and parts of eight western states. The ISO doesn’t own the transmission lines or power plants, but tells them when to generate electricity and how much and where it will be delivered.
Why does a record breaking heat wave strain the electric grids? During heat waves, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the organization that runs the state’s electric grid, can call for rotating outages statewide to protect the stability of the grid. Most utilities in the state – including PG&E have been called on to participate. These outages should last between 1 to 2 hours for most customers.
Is the power outage similar to power shut offs during fire season? No, power shut offs are different from power outages. Public Safety Power Shut Offs are most often due to extreme fire danger and the possibility of equipment causing more fire spread. Power outages are not related to PG&E’s equipment or its ability to deliver energy locally. Power outages are an effort to conserve energy when there is abnormally high usage throughout the grid due to high temperatures.
What is affected by the power outage? Many things in your home are dependent on electricity including: all appliances, breathing machines like respirators, ventilators, medical devices like power wheelchairs and scooters, oxygen, suction or home dialysis equipment, lighting, fans, ability to recharge phone or computers, access to water, heating of water, garage doors, home alarm systems, VideoPhones, etc. It is important to have supplies ready and phones and computers charged to prepare for possible power outages.
How can I conserve energy (electricity)? PG&E strongly encourages all customers to conserve energy amid the hot weather and offers these tips:
• Raise the thermostat: Cool homes and use air conditioners more during morning hours.
• Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when at home during the rest of the day, 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 5conditioner, 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.
• Clean clothes and dishes early: Use large energy-consuming appliances like washing machines and dishwashers earlier in the day or late at night after 10:00 pm.
To find out more information go to: http://www.flexalert.org/ to sign up for notifications.
For more information, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (510) 343-6670.