Customers are asked to reduce their energy use from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. each day, when air conditioners drive consumption. By doing so, customers can help prevent or reduce the need for rotating outages.
Some helpful tips for conserving power:
- Avoid using electrical appliances and devices from 3 p.m. until 9 p.m. Put off tasks such as vacuuming, laundry, dish washing and computer time until after 9 p.m.
- Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, after cooling your home to below-normal levels in the morning. Turn it off if you will be away from home. Use a fan instead of air conditioning when possible.
- Draw drapes and turn off unnecessary lighting.
- Limit the opening of refrigerators, which is a major user of electricity in most homes. The average refrigerator is opened 33 times a day.
- Keep refrigerator full (with bottles of water if nothing else) and unplug your second refrigerator, if you have one.
- Avoid using the oven. Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside.
- Set your pool pump to run overnight instead of during the day.
A Flex Alert is an urgent call by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to conserve electricity and shift demand to off-peak hours. Conservation can generate 1,000 megawatts or more in electricity savings statewide—equal to the output of two large power plants. With enough conservation CAISO can prevent or reduce the need for rotating outages like those experienced by Californians last month. PG&E also encourages our customers to have a plan for the heat and conserve as much as possible.
PG&E Tips to Stay Safe and Cool
- Plan ahead: Check the weather forecast to prepare for hot days.
- Keep an emergency contact list: Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
- Have a buddy system: Check in on elderly or frail people.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, even when you are not thirsty.
- Stay cool: Take a cool shower or bath and wear lightweight, loose, light-colored clothing.
- Stay safe: Stay out of direct sunlight and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
PG&E Tips to Prepare for a Power Outage
- Keep important numbers (e.g., hospital, fire department, police, friends, relatives) near the phone.
- Keep battery-operated flashlights and radios and extra batteries on hand.
- Gather non-perishable food that doesn’t require cooking, as well as a manual can opener.
- Freeze water-filled plastic jugs to make blocks of ice. Place them in the fridge and freezer to help prevent food from spoiling.
- If you have a generator, make sure a licensed electrician properly installs it. Improperly installed generators pose a significant danger to our crews.
PG&E-Funded Cooling Centers
PG&E also funds the operation of existing county- or city-run cooling centers throughout the state. These centers fill a critical need for those who might need shelter from prolonged hot temperatures. To find a cooling center near you, please call your local city or county government, or call PG&E’s toll-free cooling center locator line at 1-877-474-3266 or visit pge.com/coolingcenters.