WTF Is a Flex Alert?

WTF Is a Flex Alert?
File photo by Damian Gadal/Flickr

If you're one of the many people out there who thinks Flex Alert is Power 106 hip-hop DJ, join the club.

It seems like it's been a while since we had a good Flex Alert (not the kind who can cut and scratch). So here's the deal.

With high temperatures expected to reach 100 in the Los Angeles Basin and 110 and possibly higher in Southern California deserts, the California Independent System Operator (ISO), which coordinates about 80 percent of the state's electricity infrastructure, declared a Flex Alert for today.

The idea is that if you cut back on unnecessary electricity use during the Flex Alert times of 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. today, you could help the state avoid blackouts. They happen during heat waves. We've been there.

"Consumers are urged to conserve electricity, especially during the late afternoon when air conditioners typically are at peak use," California ISO said in a statement over the weekend. "Consumers can help avoid power outages by turning off all unnecessary lights, using major appliances after 9 p.m. and setting air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher."

In other words, use the air conditioning if you need to, but try not to keep the lights on just to bathe your street-art collection in a warm glow.

Peak statewide electricity use today is expected reach 45,316 megawatts, California ISO says. That's apparently close to overload.

"In addition, natural gas supplies used as fuel for many power generators in the Los Angeles area may be tight during this heat event because of limited operations at Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility," the operator stated. "The ISO has activated its summer preparedness plan for natural gas constraint concerns."

Great.

So now you know the deal. Unplug those unused chargers. Turn off unnecessary lights. Set your air conditioning to 78 or higher. Postpone major appliance use (3-D printing!) until after 9 p.m.

Help us get through this misery. We'll all be thankful after the sun sets and our favorite DJs come on the radio.

WTF Is a Flex Alert?
California ISO

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