California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order Tuesday bolstering the state’s response to a record-setting heat wave.
The executive order extended previous emergency proclamations through Friday, as the heat wave — the longest and hottest September heat wave in California’s history — is projected to last through the week. Newsom also signed Assembly Bill 2645, which would require counties to shore up community resilience centers for disasters such as extreme heat events.
“We need everyone – individuals, businesses, the state and energy producers – to do their part in the coming days and help California continue to meet this challenge,” Newsom said in a press release.
On Wednesday, the California Independent System Operator urged consumers to avoid nonessential electricity use from 4 to 9 p.m. by taking actions such as raising thermostats and avoiding the use of large appliances. Similar advisories were issued Tuesday and Aug. 31, with UC Berkeley’s administration urging students, staff and faculty to conserve power in campuswide announcements.
The original alert came in response to higher-than-normal temperatures across the state, according to an Aug. 31 campuswide email from Sally McGarrahan, associate vice chancellor of facilities services. Such high temperatures, the email reads, lead to increased demand for electricity and decreased availability of power supplies.
“Consumers are urged to conserve electricity, especially during the late afternoon and early evening, when the grid is most stressed due to higher demand and less solar energy,” the Aug. 31 email reads. “Reducing energy use during a Flex Alert can help stabilize the power grid during a time of tight supply conditions, and prevent further emergency measures, including power outages.”
Also Aug. 31, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency in order to temporarily increase energy production at power plants, among other actions. In response to increased production, a statement put out by Newsom’s press office said the state will implement additional measures to mitigate the increase in emissions.
Temperatures are expected to rise 10 to 20 degrees more than normal in what is likely to be a “record heat wave” through Sept. 7, according to the statement.
“This is just the latest reminder of how real the climate crisis is, and how it is impacting the everyday lives of Californians,” Newsom said in the statement. “While we are taking steps to get us through the immediate crisis, this reinforces the need for urgent action to end our dependence on fossil fuels that are destroying our climate and making these heat waves hotter and more common.”
To conserve energy, the campuswide email suggests consumers set air-conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit, refrain from running appliances like laundry or dishwashers, turn off unnecessary lights and close blinds and drapes, among other tips.
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