Peak electricity use in California expected to reach 20-year high today

As California continues to swelter under record-breaking temperatures amid a brutal heat wave, officials are expecting peak electricity use to reach a 20-year high Tuesday.

California Independent System Operators said we could experience rolling blackouts if people do not cut down on energy use. 

Cal ISO is forecasting record-level peak demand of 51,145 megawatts (MW), which would set a new record from the previous high of 50,270 MW in 2006.

 "This is an extraordinary heat event we are experiencing, and the efforts by consumers to lean in and reduce their energy use after 4 p.m. are absolutely essential," said Elliot Mainzer, the California Independent System Operator’s president and CEO. "Over the last several days we have seen a positive impact on lowering demand because of everyone’s help, but now we need a reduction in energy use that is two or three times greater than what we’ve seen so far as this historic heat wave continues to intensify."


Tuesday marks the seventh straight day a Flex Alert has been issued statewide due to the heat wave. 

 The ISO is projecting supply deficiencies of 400 to 3,400 MW between the hours of 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. 

Residents are urged to take the following power-saving steps:

-- setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher;

-- avoiding use of major appliances;

-- turning off unnecessary lights; and

-- avoid charging electric vehicles.

Residents are also advised to pre-cool their homes as much as possible and close blinds and drapes to keep interiors cool.