Officials ‘cautiously optimistic’ heat wave won’t lead to blackouts

California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – As a heat wave hits the Golden State, officials with the California Independent System Operator are asking all Californians to conserve energy.

“At this point they are still looking modest, but we need to stay ahead of the curve,” said California ISO’s CEO Elliot Mainzer.

Mainzer said the state will be under its first Flex Alert of the year starting Thursday between 5 p.m. and 10 p.m.

“We encourage them hours before the Flex Alert to actually pre-cool their homes or their apartments by lowering their thermostat,” Mainzer told FOX40.

But once 5 p.m. hits, officials say Californians should set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, turn off unnecessary lights, avoid the use of major appliances, use fans to cool off and unplug unused items.

The alert comes after the state experienced rolling blackouts last summer. But Mainzer is cautiously optimistic there won’t be a repeat.

“We’ve characterized the situation going into this summer as guarded optimism. We do think that we are in a generally better position than last summer,” he said.

“We don’t want to take anything for granted,” said Brian Ferguson with California’s Office of Emergency Services.

Ferguson told FOX40 they are prepared if widespread power outages do occur.

“We want to be ready so there is no downstream impact,” Ferguson explained.

He hopes other families will use the first Flex Alert of 2021 to be ready as well.

“It’s hotter, it’s drier and it’s going to be a challenge, but we are going to get through this as a state,” he said.

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