Flex Alert Issued To Encourage Voluntary Conservation During Heat Wave

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - With oppressive heat in the forecast, a statewide Flex Alert is being issued for tomorrow calling for residents to turn off their lights and help conserve electricity.

Power grid operators are predicting increased demand for electricity, according to the California Independent System Operator (ISO), which issued the Flex Alert to call for voluntary electricity conservation. Residents and businesses are being asked to reduce their energy consumption, especially between the hours of 3 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday.

“California will be experiencing near-record or record-breaking heat, up to 10-20 degrees above normal in some areas,'' ISO officials said, noting that the heat will increase electricity demand, primarily due to the use of residential air conditioning. “Prolonged heat over several consecutive days is expected to drive electricity demand higher, as nighttime temperatures are also forecast to be above average''

The National Weather Service issued heat advisories from 11 a.m.Friday through 9 p.m. Sunday in L.A. County's coastal zone --- beach cities, metropolitan Los Angeles, Downtown L.A. and the Hollywood Hills.

A more serious excessive heat warning will be in effect from 11 a.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Monday in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, the San Gabriel, Santa Monica and -- below 5,000 feet -- the Santa Ana mountains in Orange County, and from 11 a.m. Friday to 9 p.m. Tuesday in the Antelope Valley.

California ISO officials noted that remnants of tropical system Elida will bring cloud cover to portions of the state and potentially reduce solar power generation.

“Consumers are urged to conserve electricity, especially during the late afternoon and early evening, when the grid is most stressed due to higher demand and solar energy production falling,'' they said.

Energy conservation tips from ISO include:

--Turning off unnecessary lights;

--Using major appliances before 3 p.m. and after 10 p.m.;

--Setting air conditioner thermostats to 78 degrees or higher;

--Using fans; and

--Keeping drapes drawn.

Conservation measures can help the power grid keep up with demand and supply, and avoid power interruptions, experts said.

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