Sweltering Heat Waves Increase Energy Demand, Potential for Power Outage Activity
SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) continues to urge customers to conserve energy as above-normal temperatures continue to dominate across the service area today and are expected to continue at least through the middle of the week. Conservation is the best way customers can help prevent stress and strain on the electric supply that could lead to power outages for some electric customers.
PG&E meteorologists forecast generally high temperatures that will reach between 100 and 110 degrees in some locations. The COVID-19 pandemic has made the heat-outage forecast more uncertain due to shifts in electric loads because more people are staying home all day. PG&E restoration and repair crews are prepared to immediately respond to potential outages.
PG&E Tips to Stay Safe and Cool
- Plan ahead: Check the weather forecast to prepare for hot days.
- Keep an emergency contact list: Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
- Have a buddy system: Check in on elderly or frail people.
- Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, even when you are not thirsty.
- Stay cool: Take a cool shower or bath and wear lightweight, loose, light-colored clothing.
- Stay safe: Stay out of direct sunlight and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
PG&E Tips to Save Energy and Reduce Usage
- Raise the thermostat. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when at home, health permitting. Turn it up to 85 degrees or turn it off when not at home.
- Use a ceiling fan. Turn on a ceiling fan when using the air conditioner which will allow the thermostat to be raised about 4 degrees to save on cooling costs with no reduction in comfort. Turn off fans and lights when you leave the room. Fans cool you, not the room.
- Cover windows. Use shade coverings and awnings so the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool the home.
- Avoid using the oven. Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside.
- Limit the opening of refrigerators, which is a major user of electricity in most homes. The average refrigerator is opened 33 times a day.
PG&E also funds the operation of existing county- or city-run cooling centers throughout the state. These centers fill a critical need for those who might not have the means to cool and shelter themselves from prolonged hot temperatures.
To find a cooling center near you, please call your local city or county government, or call PG&E’s toll-free cooling center locator line at 1-877-474-3266 or visit pge.com/coolingcenters.
PG&E does not anticipate initiating any Public Safety Power Shutoff events this week. Any power outages that occur during this hot spell are not PSPS events.
For more tips on how to stay safe and save energy this summer, visit www.pge.com/summer.
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 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.