We have had some exceptionally warm days this summer. It’s an important time of year to be aware of the potential for rolling power outages and to understand how you can help prevent them from happening.
Here’s how it works. When it gets hot, the California Independent System Operator (or CAISO) makes sure that the power grid is reliable. Power companies, like Southern California Edison (SCE), work with CAISO to achieve this goal.
CAISO makes sure that there is enough energy in a big emergency. When everyone uses power at the same time, such as turning on the A/C when it’s hot, energy companies can’t make as much energy as people are using up. If too much energy is used, CAISO steps in.
Should the power grid ever get too close to not have enough energy reserves, CAISO has the ability to declare an emergency alert. This means that they will protect the power grid by telling power companies like SCE to conduct rotating power outages in the communities they serve. These rotating power outages typically last one hour in one area before moving onto the next area. The City of Goleta wants to make sure residents know about this possibility.
We can work together to prevent these outages by turning off electronics or other appliances when not in use. By collectively powering down and conserving energy, we will not put as much stress on the power grid and CAISO will not need to issue an emergency alert for rotating outages.