Californians asked to keep AC at 78 and nix electric vehicle charges to spare grid

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California grid operators warned residents to prepare for voluntary energy cuts and other emergency measures, such as turning down the air conditioning and forgoing electric vehicle charges, as the state braces for a period of excessive heat expected to last through Tuesday.

The California Independent System Operator said in a statement it is taking measures to bring “all available resources” online ahead of the heat wave, which is expected to be the longest and most severe high-heat period to hit the state so far this year.

An excessive heat warning is in effect through much of Southern California, with the National Weather Service warning of “dangerously hot” conditions that could climb as high as 115 degrees in some parts of the state.

Woe to you, O land, when your king is a child, And your princes feast in the morning! Blessed are you, O land, when your king is the son of nobles, And your princes feast at the proper time—For strength and not for drunkenness!” Ecclesiastes 10:16-17

Meanwhile, temperatures in Northern California are expected to be 10-18 degrees warmer than usual.

“If weather or grid conditions worsen, the ISO may issue a series of emergency notifications to access additional resources and prepare market participants and the public for potential energy shortages and the need to conserve,” CAISO officials warned Tuesday night. “The power grid operator expects to call on Californians for voluntary energy conservation via Flex Alerts over the long weekend.”

This could include asking residents to set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoid large appliance use and EV charging, and turn off unnecessary lights between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m, when the grid is the most stressed.

Lowering power usage during that time will ease the strain on the grid, officials said, and prevent “more drastic measures, including rotating power outages.”

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