The California Independent System Operator said peak electrical demand was expected to surpass 47,000 megawatts on Tuesday, just shy of the total amount of power available to the state, 54,000 megawatts.
"The good news is that our customers have made such a huge difference in terms of reducing their consumptions," said Erwin Furukawa of Southern California Edison. "Ever since this whole thing started our customers have reduced their load by 300 megawatts and that's about equal to over 200,000 homes."
Temperatures in the Inland Empire and valleys hit highs in the triple digits. Arrowhead Elementary School and Cajon High School in San Bernardino had a shortened school day because their air conditioners were not working properly.
The extreme heat has put a tremendous strain on the power grid as people crank up their air conditioners. The California ISO issued a statewide Flex Alert, urging residents to conserve power between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. to help maintain the reliability of the state's power resources. Conservation tips include:
- Setting the thermostat at 78
- Keeping rooms cool by using fans and closing drapes
- Turning off unnecessary lights and appliances
- Utilizing major appliances in the early morning or late evening
The Southland has been hit with wild weather for the last few days. the triple-digit heat is triggering powerful storms that brought rain, thunder and lightning in some mountain and inland areas. One man in Acton said he almost got hit by lightning.
Many residents have been experiencing power outages. Southern California Edison crews were out working all day long Monday restoring power in Nuevo, where power poles were knocked down.