SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — All Californians are being asked to conserve power Thursday evening as record-breaking heat hits the state.
Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a proclamation Thursday declaring a state of emergency as triple-digit temperatures gripped the state.
“The proclamation suspends certain permitting requirements, allowing the use of back-up power generation and freeing up additional energy capacity to help alleviate the heat-induced demands on the state’s energy grid,” the governor’s press office said.
The forecasted temperatures even prompted a Flex Alert for Thursday and Friday from the California Independent System Operator.
“And they’re the ones that determine when and where conservation will be helpful in reducing the strain on the power grid,” said Megan McFarland with Pacific Gas and Electric.
PG&E says it can have a big impact on the likelihood of blackouts if everyone conserves power Thursday.
“Conservation is a really important operational tool and it can generate actually a thousand mega-watts or more in electricity savings statewide,” McFarland said. “That’s equal to the output of two large power plants or enough electricity to power 1 million households.”
PG&E is encouraging its customers to use large appliances like a dishwasher or a washer and dryer only in the early morning. It also says to turn thermostats up starting at 5 p.m. and to use house fans to cool only the rooms people are in.
“If you have a pool, you can set your pump to run overnight instead of during the day,” McFarland said. “Unplug your second refrigerator, if you have one. Any way that you can conserve energy will help California.”
If power does go out, the utility company says it will be ready to quickly bring service back online.
“PG&E has a plan if there are outages. We have crews that are pre-staged ready to roll if there’s an outage that’s unplanned,” McFarland said.
And PG&E says even the littles effort to conserve can help.
“Even small things can help. So, turning off lights can kind of cools things down, set the tone and it will help conserve energy,” McFarland said.
Another big way to help conserve power is closing the blinds on windows because that will keep the inside of a home cool while the sun is out.