If there is a strain on the power grid, demand for electricity exceeds capacity and power outages become more likely, CAISO said in a press release.
“Public assistance is essential when extreme weather conditions or other factors beyond our control place excessive strain on the power grid,” said CAISO President and CEO Elliot Mainzer. “We have seen the huge impact that occurs when consumers get involved and limit their energy use. Their cooperation can really make a difference.”
California residents can help reduce stress on the electrical grid by setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoiding the use of major appliances, turning off unnecessary lights, using fans for cooling instead of on. air conditioning and unplugging unused items, CAISO said.
Before the Flex Alert went into effect on Thursday, CAISO recommended that consumers pre-cool their homes, charge electronics and vehicles, and use major appliances.
Many communities in the state’s interior and desert have issued excessive heat warnings this week, with some counties hitting triple digits, according to statewide weather data.
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide heatwave emergency on Thursday to “free up additional energy capacity,” according to the governor’s office.
The statement, citing “extreme danger” to the safety of residents due to the heat wave, suspends authorization requirements to allow immediate use of back-up power generators to help alleviate stress on the grid state energy.
The heat is expected to persist in California through the weekend, with coastal areas feeling a drop in temperatures by Sunday, according to CNN’s latest weather analysis. The San Joaquin Valley region expects the heat wave to break by early next week, and highs appear normal to slightly above normal by Tuesday.
Other western states, including Arizona and New Mexico, are also under pressure on their power grids due to extreme heat conditions, CAISO said.
CNN’s Michael Guy and Travis Caldwell contributed to this report.