LOS ANGELES, CA — Californians are being asked to cut back on their electricity usage Wednesday afternoon as a statewide Flex Alert goes into effect at 4 p.m. to prevent the power grid from crashing amid extreme heat.
High temperatures are forecast across the state, including triple-digit heat in Los Angeles County’s valleys and deserts. To avoid blackouts during the widespread heatwave, the California Independent System Operator issued the Flex Alert from 4 to 9 p.m. and urged residents to prepare ahead of time.
Residents can prepare by pre-cooling homes to 72 degrees and closing blinds and drapes. Once 4 p.m. hits, residents are urged to turn their thermostats up to 78 degrees or higher if health permits. They should also hold off on using unnecessary appliances such as dishwashers and dryers during the Flex Alert.
Flex Alerts are a voluntary measure designed to avoid more aggressive approaches such as rolling blackouts, according to the California Independent System Operator, which manages the state’s power grid.
“With above-normal temperatures in the forecast across much of the state (Wednesday), 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,” according to a statement from Cal-ISO.
According to Accuweather, the San Fernando Valley saw temperatures as high as 103 degrees Tuesday with more of the same expected Wednesday. On Friday, the high in Woodland Hills is expected to reach 108 degrees, according to Accuweather.
A cool-down is expected to provide relief heading into next week when high temperatures in the San Fernando Valley will hover the mid 90s. Along the Los Angeles County coast, temperatures are expected to reach the mid-80s most of the week before briefly dipping back down to the 70s Monday, according to Accuweather.
City News Service contributed to this report.