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Press release from PR Newswire

PG&E Encourages Customers To Conserve Electricity As California Grid Operator Declares New Flex Alert

Monday, July 01, 2013

PG&E Encourages Customers To Conserve Electricity As California Grid Operator Declares New Flex Alert

18:42 EDT Monday, July 01, 2013

Utility Ready to Respond as Second Worst Heat Wave since 1995 Is Forecast

SAN FRANCISCO, July 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is urging customers to conserve electricity in response to a Flex Alert called for today and tomorrow, July 1-2, 2013, by the California Independent System Operator Corporation (ISO), which manages the state's power grid.

A Flex Alert is an urgent call to immediately conserve electricity and shift demand to off-peak hours to ease strain on the grid. The ISO issued the alert in response to forecasts of continued high temperatures this week, which will increase expected demand for electricity for air conditioning to near-record levels.

PG&E's emergency centers are activated and additional personnel have been brought in to quickly respond to heat related outages when they occur. The utility takes preventative measures to improve reliability by upgrading transformers and wires to increase system capacity and installing intelligent switches to help minimize the duration of outages. We also train and practice our emergency response plans throughout the year to help ensure our restoration efforts are safe, timely and efficient.

PG&E reminds customers to be aware of electrical hazards. Always assume downed electric lines are energized and extremely dangerous. Stay away, keep others away and immediately call 911 to alert the police and fire departments.

PG&E encourages customers to begin reducing their energy use today, particularly between noon and 7 p.m., when demand is highest. Customers should follow these simple conservation tips:

  • Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher or turn it off if you will be away from home. Use a fan instead of air conditioning, when possible.
  • Draw drapes and turn off unnecessary lighting.
  • Keep your refrigerator full, so it will run more efficiently (with bottles of water if nothing else) and unplug the second refrigerator.
  • Avoid using electrical appliances and devices. Put off tasks like vacuuming, laundry, dish washing and computer time until after 7 p.m.
  • If you have a pool, set your pump to run overnight instead of during the day.

In addition to customer conservation efforts, PG&E uses "demand response" programs to reduce strain on the grid during summer months. Demand response programs are voluntary and allow enrolled customers to receive an incentive for reducing their energy use during peak demand times, like weekday afternoons. Today, the utility activated four demand response programs for more than 7,000 business locations and one program for residential customers, reducing demand by an estimated 390 megawatts of power.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.

SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)

For further information: PG&E External Communications, +1-415-973-5930

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