Tips to stay cool and save energy during the ‘flex alert’

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California grid operator has issued a state-wide “flex alert” on July 24 and 25 from 5 to 9 p.m. to reduce electricity use during this high-demand energy period.

Their goal is to ensure there will be enough power to keep Kern County cool. While participating in the alert is voluntary, PG&E is encouraging people to be mindful of energy usage.

“It’s to take pressure off of the grid to ensure you have adequate supply to meet what you need during those high peak hours,” said Kern County PG&E spokesperson Katie Allen. “More than 40 to 50 percent of your energy usage on a monthly basis is coming from that heating and cooling system.”

PG&E also recommends setting your thermostat no lower than 78 degrees and readjusting it to 85 when you’re away.

“Not only to benefit for the flex alert and the state’s grid, it’s also to benefit your pocket,” Allen said. “And that can add up here in Kern County in those times of extreme heat.”

Just by setting your thermostat five degrees higher, you could save ten percent in cooling costs. 

For example, if you set your house to 73 degrees, and you pay an average of $300 per month–if you adjust your temperature to 78 degrees instead, that could save you $30 every month. That nets to $360 in savings a year.

To compensate for the higher thermostat, turn on your ceiling fan, and keep your shades drawn to keep in the cool air.

For cooking, use the stove, microwave, or grill in lieu of the oven.

For more tips on energy conservation, visit flexalert.org.

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