Cell Phone Alerts amidst ongoing record heat yielded immediate relief to California’s energy grid

A press release from the California Office of Emergency Services

With extreme weather stretching California’s energy grid and threatening public health and safety, the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services issued an emergency alert at 5:45 pm, asking residents to conserve power.

As a result of this action, the California Independent System Operation (CaISO) saw an immediate and significant drop in energy use, providing some relief to the state’s grid.

The alerts come as California and the western United State are experiencing record heat. This heat wave is on track to be both the hottest and longest in California for September ever while peak summer heat for California is normally in July and August.

The following alert was sent via text message through the Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) system to cell phone users in targeted counties:

“Conserve energy now to protect public health and safety. Extreme heat is straining the state energy grid. Power interruptions may occur unless you take action. Turn off or reduce nonessential power if health allows, now until 9pm.”

The message was also sent in Spanish and read:

“El calor extremo esta afectando el servicio de electricidad del estado. Ahorra energia ahora para proteger la salud publica. Apaga los dispositivos que no utilices o reduce el consumo de energia, si es posible. Se podria generar interrupciones en el suministro electrico si no haces algo ahora.”

The geographically-targeted text messages will be sent to residents in the counties of: Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Merced, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sonoma, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare, Ventura, and Yolo.

These counties are being targeted because they are in areas of significantly above average temperatures, high population density and high concentrations of air condition use.

Updated forecast from the National Weather Service shows that this extreme heat is going to continue into Thursday and Friday.

Amidst this ongoing, climate-driven heatwave, Californians have now for multiple days successfully stepped up to save energy and made a difference in California’s ability to keep the lights on.

Individuals who receive wireless alerts should not contact law enforcement or call 9-1-1.

Get more details on how to conserve energy at home: https://flexalert.org/

Learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts: www.calalerts.org

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