As California prepares for a major heat event beginning today (Aug. 31) and continuing through the Labor Day holiday weekend, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has crews on alert and ready to respond to power outages as soon as they occur.
The California Independent System Operator (ISO) which runs the state’s electric grid has called a Flex Alert for tomorrow, Friday, Sept. 1. Californians are urged to conserve electricity from 1 to 10 p.m. to help avoid power disruptions.
PG&E meteorologists are forecasting one of the hottest stretches overall in the last 20 years to hit its service area.
Temperatures in Fresno are expected to range from highs of 105 to 109 and lows dropping only to the upper 70s. Temperatures in Eastern Madera County will exceed 100 degrees. For those traveling from The Valley to the Bay Area for the holiday weekend, interior valleys in the Bay Area may reach or exceed 100 degrees.
Cooling centers have been established in Oakhurst and Yosemite Lake Park in Coarsegold.
Oakhurst Sierra Senior Center, 49111 Cinder Lane (behind Oakhurst Community Center). Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 1:30 p.m., first and second Saturday of each month, 9:30 a.m. - 4 p.m.. (559) 658-2200.
Yosemite Lakes Park YLP Clubhouse, 30250 Yosemite Springs Parkway. Seven days a week, 8 a.m. - 8 p.m.. (559) 658-7466.
To fully support this weather event throughout its service area, PG&E will dedicate all available resources to heat storm response. Resources from less impacted areas will be mobilized and moved to those more heavily impacted, as needed.
PG&E has a plan and urges customers to stay safe during the heat wave:
☆ Prepare for potential outages. Have flashlights, radios and fresh batteries ready.
☆ Visit PG&E-supported cooling centers to escape the heat, free of charge. For information on cooling centers, or to find out if there is one in your neighborhood, contact your local city or county.
☆ If your neighborhood does not have a cooling center, plan trips to public places with air conditioning such as libraries, movie theaters or shopping malls.
☆ Avoid strenuous activities in hot, direct sunlight.
☆ Drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol or caffeine when the weather is hot.
In addition to staying safe, PG&E encourages customers to take advantage of tips, programs and tools that allow them to save energy and manage their summer bills.
Here are six energy-saving tips that are tailored specifically for gas and electric residential customers in hotter climates to help them reduce their energy usage and lower their energy bills:
☆ Seal air leaks: gaps and cracks between the inside and outside of a customer’s home can allow cooled air to escape in the summer. Sealing air leaks on doors or windows can save up to $95 on annual cooling costs.
☆ Raise the thermostat: customers can save up to $85 on annual cooling costs for each degree the temperature is increased in their home during the hot summer months.
☆ Turn off AC when leaving: turning off the air conditioning before leaving home will save up to $65 annually, especially for customers on a Time of Use rate plan or when there is a SmartDay event for those on a SmartRate plan.
☆ Improve shading for windows: Enhancing shade on windows can save up to $60 each year by ensuring the sun doesn’t heat up the inside of a home.
☆ Maintain AC: air conditioners use more energy than necessary if they are not properly maintained. Maintaining a home’s AC this summer will help the system last longer and save up to $50 each year.
☆ Check air filters once a month: heating and cooling consume the most energy in the average home — up to 50 percent of total home energy use. Cleaning or replacing filters monthly will improve energy efficiency and save up to $45 each year.
The above savings amounts are illustrative only. Actual savings will vary.
For more tips on how to save this summer, visit www.pge.com/summer.
For more tips on staying safe during the heat wave visit. www.pge.com/en/myhome/edusafety/seasonal/coolingcenters/summersafety.page.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California.