ALERT: Heat Wave Could Lead to More Power Outages

Monday, August 17, 2020

Dear Neighbor,

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) has issued a statewide “Flex Alert,” a call for voluntary electricity conservation, that began on Sunday and extending through Wednesday. The Flex Alerts are in effect from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

Consumers should be prepared for the potential of rotating power outages during the late afternoons and early evenings through Wednesday. For more information, click here.

While a heat wave is causing a strain on existing power supplies, this year’s power outages could have been avoided with better and balanced policies from the state.

The potential for more outages are exposing real problems in California’s transition to solar and wind energy. While California produces a surplus of solar energy during peak daylight hours, shortages can occur in the evening when the sun goes down but demand for power remains high. Many of my colleagues and I have raised these concerns in the Legislature and with the Governor’s office for years, but they have been ignored.

As the state has increased its focus on energy renewability and sustainability, it has lost its focus on energy reliability and affordability. We need a focus on an all of the above energy strategy.

For now, between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m., the ISO is urging Californians to:

  • Set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees, if health permits.
  • Defer use of major appliances.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights.
  • Unplug unused electrical devices.
  • Close blinds and drapes.
  • Use fans when possible.
  • Limit time the refrigerator door is open.

Here are resources you may find useful for your area:

San Diego County

Orange County

For any emergency threatening life or property, please call 911. I will continue to do what I can to advocate for balanced and reliable energy supplies in the Legislature and with the Governor’s office.

Sincerely,

Pat
PATRICIA C. BATES
Senator, 36th District