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PG&E Customers Can Find Out If Rolling Blackouts Will Affect Their House
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By Bill McEwen, News Director
Published 4 years ago on
August 18, 2020

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Congratulations, Fresno and Clovis.

Pacific Gas & Electric officials rolled out a mission Monday — conserve energy to avoid rolling blackouts — and residents throughout the utility’s service area carried it out.

Now, the question is: Will residents save enough juice to avoid rotating power outages Tuesday evening?

As of 4:23 p.m. Tuesday, the answer was yes.

“Voluntary reductions in usage have so far kept California utilities from having to implement rolling outages today,” a PG&E official said.

During a Flex Alert, residents are asked to voluntarily reduce electricity usage so that Cal-ISO doesn’t have to order rolling blackouts.

“Conserving energy will continue to be very important” throughout the heatwave, PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles told  GV Wire℠ on Tuesday morning.

At noon, PG&E warned that rotating blackouts were “likely to occur” later in the day.

How to See If Your House Will Go Dark

You can follow the state’s electricity supply, current demand, and expected peak demand in real-time at this link.

In addition, PG&E customers can look up their address to determine if their household will be affected. Visit www.pge.com/rotatingoutages to check your address.

Watch: How to Check Your Address for Rolling Blackouts

What Is a Flex Alert?

A statewide Flex Alert is in effect from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. through at least Wednesday.

During a Flex Alert, residents are asked to voluntarily reduce electricity usage so that Cal-ISO, the electricity grid operator, doesn’t have to order rolling one- or two-hour blackouts.

We’re doing laundry and dishes during the day, turning off lights where they’re not needed, and keeping blinds and curtains closed. Instead of turning on the oven, which warms the house, I’m  cooking at night outside on a gas grill.” — PG&E spokesman Denny Boyles, on how he’s cutting electricity use while sheltering in place

Boyles’ No. 1 tip for residents is to bump up their thermostat during Flex Alert hours. He also explained what he’s doing at his house to cut electricity consumption between 3 p.m. and 10 p.m.

“We’re doing laundry and dishes during the day, turning off lights where they’re not needed, and keeping blinds and curtains closed,” said Boyles, who is working at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Instead of turning on the oven, which warms the house, I’m  cooking at night outside on a gas grill.”

Another tip: Change your air conditioner filter regularly.

graphic of tips to reduce power use and avoid rolling electricity blackouts

Fresno Has Hit Century Mark 43 Times This Summer

As for the heatwave, it’s not going anywhere soon.

The Weather Channel forecast calls for triple-digit temperatures through Sunday, Aug. 30, and the Excessive Heat Warning from the National Weather Service Hanford will remain in effect through Thursday evening.

Tuesday’s high temperature in Fresno is predicted to be 110 degrees, and Wednesday’s forecast calls for 109. A drop to 103 Thursday and Friday is expected followed by weekend temperatures of 106.

NWS Hanford tweeted Tuesday that Fresno has had 43 days this summer with temperatures of 100 degrees or higher. On 10 of those days, the thermometer hit at least 105 — topped by Sunday’s 112.

Tips on staying safe and cool during a heatwavean

 

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Bill McEwen,
News Director
Bill McEwen is news director and columnist for GV Wire. He joined GV Wire in August 2017 after 37 years at The Fresno Bee. With The Bee, he served as Opinion Editor, City Hall reporter, Metro columnist, sports columnist and sports editor through the years. His work has been frequently honored by the California Newspapers Publishers Association, including authoring first-place editorials in 2015 and 2016. Bill and his wife, Karen, are proud parents of two adult sons, and they have two grandsons. You can contact Bill at 559-492-4031 or at Send an Email

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