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Power rangers: 'Flex Alert' declared to plug energy drain in California

Photo by Gavin Bell via Flickr Creative Commons

With the San Onofre nuclear plant on a government mandated time out, a "Flex Alert" has been issued by the managers of California's power grid in an attempt to keep state energy reserves from falling to the point of a Stage 1 Emergency.

On Thursday, California Independent System Operator declared the call for conservation to go into effect Friday through Sunday as the revenge of summer continues. The National Weather Service has warned valley and inland areas to prepare for unwelcomed humidity as the muggy insult to triple-digit-temp injury. 

Around Southern California, cooling centers can be found in Los Angeles CountyVentura CountyRiverside CountySan Bernardino County and by using the Southern California Edison cooling center locator map.


  • set thermostats no cooler than 78 degrees
  • limit large appliance use during peak hours (washing machines, dishwashers)
  • keep drapes and blinds closed to cool off rooms
  • ventilate homes at night and in the early a.m. to allow cool air to circulate
  • limit opening the refrigerator
  • turn off unnecessary lights
  • use ceiling fans or smaller fans instead of air conditioners


Restricted Maintenance - Declared when routine maintenance on transmission lines or power plants could threaten grid reliability.

Alert - Activated day before ISO may require extra resources to avoid electrical emergency.

Warning - Activated an hour ahead when there may be a shortfall. Conservation requested. Voluntary load reduction programs may be triggered at this point.

Emergency Stage 1 - Operating reserves forecast to fall below 6% to 7%. Stronger request for conservation.

Emergency Stage 2 - Operating reserves forecast to be less than 5%. Indicates reserves are forecast to be below minimum criteria and requires ISO intervention in the market.

Emergency Stage 3 - Operating reserves forecast to be less than 3%. Issue notice of potential load interruptions to utilities.