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Flex Alert issued for Wednesday due to excessive heat

Statewide flex alert issued as temperatures rise
Statewide flex alert issued as temperatures rise 02:11

A statewide Flex Alert will be in effect from Wednesday amid high temperatures, the California Independent System Operator announced Tuesday.

The California Independent System Operator, which manages the state's power grid, said the Flex Alert will be issued from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.

"With above-normal temperatures in the forecast across much of the state, the power grid operator is expecting an increase in electricity demand, primarily from air conditioning use, and is calling for voluntary conservation steps to help balance supply and demand," said Cal-ISO in a statement on Tuesday.

During the Flex Alert, residents are urged to voluntarily reduce energy use to avoid strain on California's electrical grid.

"Well I guess don't charge the Tesla, right?" said Antoine Melkonian, one of the millions of Californians affected by the alert. 

Those who make a consolidated effort to get all of their household chores down ahead of time will be saving a lot of money, as detailed by Reggie Kumar, a SoCal Edison official. 

"If you charge your car earlier, you'll be paying about 21 cents per kilowatt hour," Kumar said. "If you do it during the peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., you'll be charged about 54 cents."

Consumers are asked to set their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits, and take other voluntary measures, including avoiding the use of major appliances and unnecessary lights. It was recommended that people "pre-cool" their homes to around 72 degrees ahead of the 4 p.m. start time, and to make use of blinds and drapes to maintain it.

Additionally, Californians were asked to cut out all unnecessary power usage, including turning off lights throughout the house and using heavy utilities like washing machines or dishwashers.

Since most people return home from work during those peak hours, Kumar explained that the strain on the power grid traditionally increases as a result. 

"Most folks are home from work, turning on lights, they want to make sure the AC is running. Those are the hours we really have to be concerned by," he said.


Local power companies have created incentivized programs for those who adhere to the recommended guidelines, with some SoCal Edison customers eligible to receive up to a $40 credit on their next bill. 

Wednesday marks the last day of extremely high temperatures for most of the Southland before a slightly less intense weather movement heads into the area. 

For more information about saving money on energy costs, visit SCE or Energy Upgrade California.

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