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Cal-ISO Issues 'Flex Alert' Amid Heat Wave

LOS ANGELES ( — State energy officials Tuesday issued a "flex alert" urging residents to conserve electricity amid a heat wave expected to linger in the Southland for the rest of the week.

The alert from California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO) calls on consumers to reduce their energy use between 2-9 p.m. today and Wednesday to reduce strain on the system.

Cal-ISO predicted peak energy demand for the day to hit 44,700 megawatts around 6 p.m.

The agency issues a flex alert — which calls for voluntary conservation — whenever the California power grid is under stress due to elevated demand or system outages.

Consumers were urged to set thermostats at 78 degrees or higher and turn air conditioners off when away from their homes, as well as switch off lights when leaving a room.

The alert also asks consumers to avoid using appliances during peak hours, particularly from 4 to 6 p.m. and reset pool pumps to run during off-peak hours.

Peter Balestrieri has lived in Valley Glen for 11 years and says he doesn't look forward to triple-digit heat. The 6th grade teacher says he's still doing his part to conserve energy.

"I'm use to it, I don't really like it, but we live in LA this is what we get," he said. "I have my thermostat set at 78 during the day. I might lower it a little at night when most of us are home, but I try to turn it off before I go to bed. I try not to use the washing machine and dryer during the day, dishwasher only when it's full. We all gotta do our little bit."

While there is enough electricity to meet demand so far, Cal-ISO says the margin between available power and actual use is slim, and there are concerns if a wildfire takes out a transmission line or a power generating station malfunctions there may not be enough electricity to meet demand.

Balestrieri says he was taking these energy-saving measures before the flex alert was issued. He hopes now others will join him.

"Everybody needs to do their part to save energy and keep things running smoothly," he said.

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