Home Energy conservation Day 4 of prolonged heat wave urges continued call for energy conservation

Day 4 of prolonged heat wave urges continued call for energy conservation


OAKLAND, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–With temperatures forecast to be 10 to 20 degrees above normal in many areas over the next few days, demand for electricity is expected to continue to rise. The state grid operator says the power grid maintained reliability during the heat wave thanks to conservation efforts. Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) thanks its customers for doing their part.

Actions like turning off the lights and raising the thermostat by a degree or two make a big difference at a time when extreme temperatures are increasing energy demand in the West, primarily due to air conditioning use.

The state’s grid operator, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), has issued a flexible alert that will go into effect today (Saturday, September 3) from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Here are simple ways for PG&E customers to reduce the strain on the power supply:

Today, before 4 p.m.:

  • Pre-cool home or work space. Lower the thermostat in the morning. When the outside temperature rises, raise the thermostat and circulate the pre-cooled air with a fan.
  • Use major appliancesincluding:
    • Washer and dryer

    • Dishwasher

    • Oven and stove for pre-cooking and meal preparation

  • Charging electric vehicles.
  • Blinds closed: Sunlight passing through windows heats the house and makes the air conditioner more efficient. Block out this heat by keeping blinds or curtains closed on the sunny side of the house.

Today, during the Flex Alert from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.:

  • Set the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher, health permitting: Each degree above 78 represents an appropriate saving of 2% on cooling costs.
  • When it’s cooler outside, bring some fresh air inside: If the outside air is cool at night or early in the morning, open windows and doors and use fans to cool your home.
  • Avoid using major appliances.
  • Turn off all unnecessary lights.
  • Avoid charging electric vehicles.

New this summer, customers can be rewarded for saving energy when the state grid operator calls for conservation. PG&E’s Power Saver Rewards program is a free, voluntary program that financially rewards participants who temporarily reduce their electricity usage when demand is high. By saving energy during Power Saver Rewards events coinciding with Flex Alerts, customers earn $2 for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy saved. Over 1.5 million PG&E customers are registered.

Registered customers who reduce their energy consumption between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. will receive a credit on their bill at the end of the season. There is no cost or penalty for not reducing energy. Visit powersaver.pge.com to easily register and learn more about the program.

Customers can also help reduce the amount of power on the grid during a Flex Alert by enrolling in PG&E’s SmartAC program, which turns the air conditioner on and off every 15 minutes for up to six hours on event days. . This year, new participants will receive $75 for existing thermostats or $120 off the purchase of a new thermostat with registration. Customers cannot be enrolled in both SmartAC and Power Saver Rewards programs.

Eligible customers with a Tesla Powerwall battery energy storage system can participate in the PG&E + Tesla Virtual Power Plant. Through this collaboration, Tesla is participating in PG&E’s Emergency Load Reduction Program (ELRP) Demand Response Pilot by enrolling and combining residential Powerwall home battery systems in a virtual power plant to offload the energy to the grid during periods of high demand. Participating customers will receive compensation for the energy their Powerwalls discharge.

Additionally, extremely hot weather can overload electrical equipment and cause heat-related power outages. PG&E has a plan and encourages customers to prepare as well. Prepare a flashlight, radios and fresh batteries.

PG&E does not anticipate the need for a public safety power outage due to these weather conditions, but the company’s weather team continues to monitor conditions.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people over 70,000 square miles in northern and central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.