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PG&E Encourages Customers to Conserve Electricity as California Declares New Flex Alert

Release Date: August 13, 2012
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today urged customers to conserve electricity in response to a Flex Alert called for tomorrow, August 14, 2012, by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), which manages the state's power grid.

A Flex Alert is an urgent call to immediately conserve electricity and shift demand to off-peak hours to ease strain on the grid. CAISO issued the alert in response to forecasts of continued high temperatures this week, which will increase expected demand for electricity for air conditioning to near record levels.

PG&E encourages customers to begin reducing their energy use today, particularly between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., when demand is highest. Customers should follow these simple conservation tips:

  • Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher or turn it off if you will be away from home. Use a fan instead of air conditioning, when possible.
  • Draw drapes and turn off unnecessary lighting.
  • Keep refrigerator full (with bottles of water if nothing else) and unplug the second refrigerator.
  • Avoid using electrical appliances and devices. Put off tasks like vacuuming, laundry, dish washing and computer time until after 6 p.m.
  • Set your pool pump to run overnight instead of during the day.

In addition to customer conservation efforts, PG&E uses "demand response" programs to reduce strain on the grid during summer months. Demand response programs are voluntary and allow enrolled customers to receive an incentive for reducing their energy use during peak demand times, like weekday afternoons. Today, the company activated two demand response programs for more than 2,000 business locations and one program for residential customers, reducing demand by approximately 60 megawatts of electricity.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.

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