Californians Asked to Turn Off Lights

Due to the heat wave which is currently hitting hard the Golden State, putting huge stress on the power grid, Californians were urged to conserve energy by all means necessary. On Monday, California’s power-grid operator (ISO, which stands for California Independent System Operator ) issued a warning to both businesses and homes to conserve electricity on Tuesday (that would be today) and Wednesday, when a serious heat-wave is expected to hit the state.

ISO issued a Flex Alert warning in response to extremely high temperatures registered recently across the western US. Other factors that determined ISO to issue the alert include scarce natural gas supplies, reduced electricity imports and high wildfire risk. A similar alert was issued by SoCalGas, the gas utility company for Southern California, which notified customers to get ready to reduce gas consumption, as the state’s power generators (which run on gas) are expected to burn more natural gas this week, to keep ACs humming.

High temps in LA were forecast to reach and exceed 90 F/32 Celsius on Tuesday, and 97 F on Wednesday. The normal temperature in LA this time of the year is 84 degrees Fahrenheit, give or take. According to ISO, power interruptions can be avoided if they turn off all unnecessary lights, and by using major appliances after 9 p.m. or before 5 p.m. Also, setting AC units to 78 degrees F or higher would help.

One may wonder what happened to those glorified wind turbines and solar panels? How’s all that renewable energy working out?  California, aka 6th largest GDP in the world, but no energy? Remember that mantra “let’s make sure everyone drives an electric car to save energy”?  What could be more ecologically friendly than sitting in the dark without air conditioning. That there is green living.

What is it exactly about folks who build huge cities in a desert and then wonder why it is so hot? 15 degrees above normal is hardly that unusual. The same goes for their need for water – who knew a place with very limited water resources to start with would have to support twenty some millions just in the normally desert regions? Sympathy? I feel sad for folks caught in situations that could not be predicted – not the ones that occur with a routine predictability each and every year.

From the second sentence of the State of California Energy Commission’s Climate Change Activities web page, “For more than 30 years, California has had aggressive energy efficiency and renewable energy policies, in order to minimize the impact of energy consumption on the environment.”

The San Onofre and Rancho Seco Nuclear Generating Stations would have helped prevent these brownouts. But they are shut down now, due all or in part to a public vote. Enjoy your nice warm sunshine, Californians. You voted for it.

Now, since we’re an Android-related website, here’s a cool Android energy efficiency app to help you mitigate the July heat-wave, whether you’re from Cali or wherever:

Energy Consumption Analyzer


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