On Tuesday, an emergency text message was sent to millions of Californians, urging them to “conserve energy now to protect public health and safety.”
Known as the Flex Alert, the text message was crucial to preventing blackouts on one of the hottest days of the year, and the power outage now averted could have strained the state’s power grid.
Due to the large population and the use of air conditioning, the message was addressed to 24 counties, including Los Angeles and the Bay Area.
The California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO) reported an immediate and significant drop in electricity consumption after the text was sent, encouraging users to save electricity when the power supply is at full capacity.
“Within moments, we saw a significant amount of load reduction showing up, to the tune of approximately 2,000 megawatts over the next 20 to 30 minutes. That significant response from California consumers to the wireless emergency alert allowed us to restore our operating reserves and took us back from the brink of broader grid disturbance,” said Elliot Mainzer, president and chief executive of the California Independent System Operator, which runs the state’s power grid.
After receiving the message, Robert Goldberg, a Twitter user, said he had disconnected kitchen appliances he had not used, turned the air conditioner down to 78 and disconnected a USB charging cable from his desk.
The sources for this piece include an article in BBC.