PG&E crews preparing for increase in electricity demand during heat wave

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Rising temperatures have made the splash pad at Martin Ray Reilly Park in east central Fresno a popular spot for families, including Meighann Hanson and her kids.

"We came out to get some sunshine and get cool because we know it is going to get hot," she said. "All week, it's going to be hot."

Due to this week's extreme conditions, The California Independent System Operator has issued a heat bulletin, urging the public to conserve energy and sign up for grid alerts.

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California ISO has also declared a Restricted Maintenance Operation (RMO) from Tuesday through Friday. That means generators and transmission operators must postpone any planned outages for routine equipment maintenance to ensure all grid assets are available for use.

PG&E is also ready to respond.

"We have crews on standby," says PG&E Spokesman Denny Boyles. "In a system like this, where it's going to be really across the state. We're not shifting crews around but we are making sure we have enough crews on standby and we're ready in case we experiences outages.

"If it's going to be another power outage where you have no power, this is a good resource to come to and know in the back of your mind, we can take our family to the park, they can get cool and it can be a lot more tolerable," Hanson said.

Last summer, there were heat-related power outages. As temperatures continue to warm up, Boyles says that timing is everything.

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"Start thinking about things that you do that use a lot of electricity that you can move to different parts of the day, so maybe you're running your dishwasher later in the evening or earlier in the day," he said. "Same with the washing machine and dryer."

The National Weather Service in Hanford says since the heat risk will be very high throughout the week, remember to never leave children or pets in your car.
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