Flex Alert Remains in Effect Statewide; Rolling Blackouts Possible

LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, will be in effect again this afternoon in hopes of staving off the need for rolling blackouts, but it will begin an hour earlier today in hopes of getting a jump on power-cutback efforts.

The Flex Alert will take effect at 2 p.m. Wednesday and continue until 9 p.m., according to the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state's power grid. The alert was originally scheduled for 3 to 10 p.m.

Rolling blackouts were again averted Tuesday thanks to conservation by consumers, imported energy and power from wind plants, according to Cal-ISO.

A Stage 2 Emergency was declared around 2 p.m. Tuesday by the grid operator, which was preparing to order load shed to take the strain off the grid. However, demand came in lower than forecast and the emergency was canceled at 7:37 p.m.

“Californians made tonight a success,'' said Steve Berberich, president and CEO of Cal-ISO. “Everyone pulled together and responded to our warning with action to avoid any interruption in electricity supplies.''

California's record-breaking heat wave has put strain on the ISO electric system since Friday as air conditioners pushed up electricity demand.

Today, residents are being asked to use air conditioning early in the day and set thermostats no lower than 78 in the afternoon and evening hours, while avoiding the use of major appliances during the Flex Alert hours.

Officials also urged businesses statewide to restrict their usage. In some cases, the state is asking business owners to support outreach to their customers about conserving energy.

Photo: Getty Images

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