Tips to save energy and survive in a power outage

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With the heatwave expected through Thursday night, PG&E is expecting more rotating power outages.

These outages could be prevented by a collective effort to save energy, as to not overwhelm the California grid. 

“The heatwave, the pandemic, distance-learning, as well as many individuals working from home, it definitely is adding to overall factors that is overloading the grid, requiring Cal-ISO to call those rotating outages,” explained PG&E spokesperson, Katie Allen.

If your power does go out, and you’re left in the dark, don’t sweat.

“Our hope and our plan is to only impact each block of customers for one hour,” Allen said.

If the outage is for less than two hours, you don’t have to worry about food going bad in the fridge, but it won’t hurt to have a cooler and ice packs on hand.

If you’re working and your laptop needs charging, having a converter allows you to plug into your car, and you can use your phone’s data plan as a hot spot.

“Customers that are enrolled in medical baseline or vulnerable customers, make sure they have plans too,” Allen said.

To prevent potential outages from happening in the first place, get in the habit of using less energy, which will alleviate burden on the grid. You might even save on your bill.

So, avoid using the oven, which heats up your whole house. Cook with the microwave, stove, or grill instead. Then use appliances like the dishwasher and washing machine earlier in the day or late at night.

Also, try setting your thermostat to 78 when you’re home, and make sure to turn off your A.C. when you’re away. Seventy-eight degrees might feel high, but to compensate, use a fan.

“All of us making the small changes—turning off the fan, turning off the light—you may think, does it really matter? And the answer is yes,” Allen added. “Please help us conserve energy. Not only will it help the power grid, but it will also help decrease your energy bill.”

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