Saturday, December 3 2022 Sign In   |    Register

News Quick Search



Front Page
Power News
Today's News
Yesterday's News
Week of Nov 28
Week of Nov 21
Week of Nov 14
Week of Nov 07
Week of Oct 31
By Topic
By News Partner
Gas News
News Customization


Pro Plus(+)

Add on products to your professional subscription.
  • Energy Archive News

    Home > News > Power News > News Article

    Share by Email E-mail Printer Friendly Print

    A text asked millions of Californians to save energy. They paid heed, averting blackouts

    September 8, 2022 - Grace Toohey, Daily Pilot, Costa Mesa, Calif.


      Sep. 7β€”At about 5 :45 p.m. Tuesday, millions of Californians ' cellphones lit up with a new type of emergency alert : "Conserve energy now to protect public health and safety."

      That text message warning proved critical in helping avoid rolling blackouts during the grueling heat wave that has taxed the state 's power grid for more than a week, according to California officials.

      "Within moments, we saw a significant amount of load reduction showing up, to the tune of approximately 2, 000 megawatts over the next 20 to 30 minutes, " said Elliot Mainzer, the president and chief executive of the California Independent System Operator, which runs the state 's power grid. "That significant response from California consumers to the wireless emergency alert allowed us to restore our operating reserves and took us back from the edge of broader grid disturbance."

      Just about 30 minutes before the wireless emergency alert went out β€” a system historically used for Amber Alerts or location- specific imminent threats, such as wildfires β€” Cal ISO had readied local utility providers to implement rolling blackouts if conditions did not improve. The state just reached record- setting energy demand, and Mainzer said energy use was not decreasing, until that alert was issued.

      "Our absolute intent is not to have to do that again tonight, " Mainzer said. "That is a tool of absolute last resort."

      He called Tuesday an "extraordinarily challenging day " for the power grid, almost pushed to the brink as record- setting temperatures scorched much of the state. Officials projected a peak demand at 51, 146 megawatts, but by Tuesday evening, California set an all- time record of 52, 061 megawatts.

      Tuesday 's record surpassed the previous all- time peak of 50, 270 megawatts in July 2006.

      According to the California Governor 's Office of Emergency Services, which issued the text alert, residents in certain counties were targeted due to high temperatures, population density and concentration of air conditioner use. The alerts were sent to residents in Alameda, Butte, Contra Costa, El Dorado, Fresno, Kern, Kings, Los Angeles, Madera, Marin, Merced, Orange, Placer, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Santa Barbara, Santa Clara, Shasta, Sonoma, Solano, Stanislaus, Tulare, Ventura and Yolo counties.

      There are about 27 million people who live in the targeted counties, Brian Ferguson, a spokesperson for the emergency services office said. Alerts were sent in English and in Spanish.

      San Francisco, Marin and Humboldt counties did not receive alerts because although they have large populations, most people do not use air conditioning."

      "It is pretty unprecedented to be used this way, particularly for energy, " Ferguson said.


      (c)2022 the Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, Calif.)

      Visit the Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, Calif.) at

      Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


    Other Articles - T&D Automation


       Home  -  Feedback  -  Contact Us  -  Safe Sender  -  About Energy Central   
    Copyright © 1996-2022 by CyberTech, Inc. All rights reserved.
    Energy Central® and Energy Central Professional® are registered trademarks of CyberTech, Incorporated. Data and information is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended for trading purposes. CyberTech does not warrant that the information or services of Energy Central will meet any specific requirements; nor will it be error free or uninterrupted; nor shall CyberTech be liable for any indirect, incidental or consequential damages (including lost data, information or profits) sustained or incurred in connection with the use of, operation of, or inability to use Energy Central. Other terms of use may apply. Membership information is confidential and subject to our privacy agreement.