Humboldt County won’t face the brunt of a heat dome settling over the state for the next few days, but the state is asking residents to be prepared to conserve energy in the afternoon and in the evening on the hottest days to avoid taxing the electricity network.
“We are voluntarily asking you to do a little more to get us through next week,” Gov. Gavin Newsom said at a press conference Wednesday.
Temperatures across the state are expected to be about 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than usual through Tuesday, according to a heat report from the state’s Independent System Operator. That won’t be the case for much of Humboldt County, National Weather Service meteorologist Doug Boushey said, though heat in southern and eastern parts of the county will reach a crescendo on Monday when temperatures are expected to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit. .
“I don’t plan to issue a heat advisory for Humboldt County at this point,” Boushey said. “But it’s going to be hot. I mean, everything is relative, it’s hot like that.
The influence of sea air really helps moderate the higher temperatures, Boushey said.
Pacific Gas & Electric spokeswoman Deanna Contreras said the utility does not plan to shut off power for public safety in the coming week, but customers in southern and western county may experience heat-related failures.
Even though the county will remain cooler than other areas, Contreras said utility customers can still lower the cost of their bills through voluntary conservation, which the state also requires.
The electric grid operator expects the peak electricity load to exceed 48,000 megawatts on Labor Day, which would be the highest energy load of the year, and plans to issue Flex alerts to let people know to conserve energy over the weekend.
During these alerts, people are asked to reduce their energy consumption from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., “when the system is most stressed because the demand for electricity remains high and there is less solar energy available”, according to Tuesday’s heat report.
“The top three conservation actions are setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoiding the use of large appliances and charging electric vehicles, and turning off unnecessary lights,” the bulletin said. “Reducing electricity consumption during this time will ease the strain on the system and prevent more drastic measures, including rolling blackouts.”
You can learn more and sign up for SMS notifications at www.FlexAlert.com.
Sonia Waraich can be reached at 707-441-0504.