SAN FRANCISCO, July 18, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) — The California Independent System Operator declared Monday a Flex Your Power NOW! event. The weather forecast calls for continued high temperatures near or above the century mark in both northern and central California through Wednesday.
On Sunday, peak demand of approximately 40,405 megawatts set a Sunday record for energy use in California and marked the first time that demand topped 40,000 megawatts for seven days in a row. That string of high demand days will continue on Monday, July 18 with a peak demand forecast of 45,988 Megawatts.
The ISO predicts there will be enough power available to meet that demand, however, when demand is that high, there are fewer options available to deal with the unexpected-such as the loss of a major power plant, or a transmission line tripping out of service. Subsequently, the ISO is declaring Monday a Flex Your Power NOW! day, and is urging Californians to reduce their energy usage especially during the afternoon peak demand hours of 4:00 to 7:00 p.m.
- Set Thermostat at 78 or higher
- Cool with fans
- Draw the drapes
- Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances
- Use big appliances early in the day, or later at night
The state’s power grid manager has declared Monday, a Flex Your Power NOW! event as high temperatures continue to blanket much of the state and Californians appear headed toward setting a new record in electricity usage. The current record for peak demand was last set on September 8, 2004 when power usage reached 45,597 megawatts.
Both residential and business customers are asked to reduce usage during the peak hours of 4:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Pacific Gas and Electric Company is voluntarily curtailing usage at its facilities throughout northern and central California. The utility urges its customers to take part in this call to action, and conserve electricity today. Conservation plays a key role in helping the California ISO balance the demand for energy with the available supply.
The Flex Your Power NOW! campaign was launched last summer as a way to enlist the help of California energy users in times of tight supplies. When the California ISO declares an imminent electricity shortage — caused for example by unplanned transmission and power plant outages, wildfires, or higher than expected demand and unseasonable weather — a warning is issued asking customers to reduce usage to help avoid power emergencies.