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Home > News > News Articles > 2020 > September > Rolling Blackouts Avoided Following League, Cities, State Efforts to Promote Energy Conservation
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Rolling Blackouts Avoided Following League, Cities, State Efforts to Promote Energy Conservation

However, Power Shutoffs Initiated after High Winds Threaten Energy Grid

September 9, 2020
Scorching temperatures plunged Californians into a Labor Day weekend balancing act of attempting to stay cool while not overloading the state’s energy grid. 
Record high temperatures around the state spurred an emergency proclamation by Gov. Gavin Newsom aimed at shoring up the state’s energy capacity and staving off the kind of power outages and rolling blackouts that left tens of thousands of residents in the dark during last month’s massive heat wave.

The League partnered with the Governor’s office over the weekend to push out warnings and messaging to cities urging residents to reduce energy usage in order to prevent service interruptions. This included: 
  • Limiting energy usage from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m., especially air conditioning, electric car charging, and other energy intensive technology.
  • Cooling your home overnight and in the morning in order to stay cool all day, and setting your air conditioning to 78°F or higher between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m.
  • Signing up to receive Flex Alert notifications from your utility provider to help California conserve energy during times of grid stress. 
Cities contributed with Tweets and Facebook messages asking residents to curtail their electricity usage, and by 8:30 p.m. the California Independent System Operator (ISO), which manages most of the state's electric flow, issued a tweet calling off the emergency, reporting no power outages ordered by grid operators, and thanking Californians for their conservation efforts.
Unfortunately, the energy-saving vigilance of Californians wasn’t enough to keep the power on in many northern California communities. Strong winds Monday led to dangerous fire conditions, and PG&E cut power to approximately 172,000 customers in 22 counties in an attempt to avoid sparking more wildfires.

Partnering with PG&E and Cal OES, the League immediately connected city officials with daily briefings by the utility regarding where the shutoffs would take place, the duration, and information on resource centers for customers during the power shutoff.

For the most up-to-date information on areas where power has been shut off, please visit the PG&E Power Outage Map and the Southern California Edison website, as that utility also shut off power in several areas due to dangerous weather conditions. Contact your League Regional Public Affairs Manager for additional updates on Cal OES and utility company briefings.

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