Update - August 17, 2020 
Rolling Power Outages Expected to Save Electricity    
State's power grid is strained by hot weather  
Our unusually hot weather is stressing the state's power grid, and PG&E has announced Bay Area rolling outages to help conserve electricity.

Outages are expected in areas of Contra Costa County.

The outages, expected to last for one to a few hours, are slated to begin at 4 pm today, and last until 10 pm tonight. Outages are also likely tomorrow (August 18) for the same time period.

Outages are likely in many areas of Contra Costa County, including Richmond, San Pablo, El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Pinole, and Kensington.

Approximately 10,000 to 20,000 PG&E customers in each community may be affected.

These are NOT planned public safety power shutoffs, where the power is turned off for fire prevention during red flag fire days of wind and heat.

Rotating outages are used in emergency conditions when the demand for electricity is coming close to exceeding availability and immediate measures are needed to conserve power.

These emergencies are declared by the Cal ISO, California Independent System Operator. Cal ISO ordered utility companies statewide to immediately reduce their power load, or electrical output.

Cal ISO has also declared a Flex Alert; a call for all Californians to conserve energy, especially between 3 pm and 5 pm, when air conditioners are usually at peak use.

Tips to Conserve Electricity
  • Unplug unused electrical devices.
  • Turn off unnecessary lights.
  • Charge computers, phones, electric vehicles early in morning or after 10 pm.
  • Raise the thermostat to a higher setting so your air conditioner doesn't automatically turn on, if your health allows. 
  • Use a ceiling fan.
  •  Turn off fans and lights when you leave the room.
  • Use shades, blinds or curtains to help cool rooms. 
  • Avoid using the oven -- use a stove, microwave, or grill.  
  • Limit the opening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes.
  • Clean clothes and dishes early: Use large energy-consuming appliances like washing machines and dishwashers earlier in the day or late at night after 10:00 pm.
Tips to Stay Safe and Cool
  • Plan ahead: Check the weather forecast to prepare for hot days.
  • Keep an emergency contact list: Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Have a buddy system: Check in on seniors or people with disabilities.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, even when you are not thirsty.
  • Stay cool: Take a cool shower or bath and wear lightweight, loose, light-colored clothing.
  • Stay safe: Stay out of direct sunlight and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
Please see my earlier eblast on keeping cool during a heatwave.

These are challenging times when we all need to work together to stay safe from COVID-19, stay cool from the heat, and conserve electricity.

Thanks for doing your part!

John Gioia
Supervisor, District One 
Contra Costa County 
11780 San Pablo Avenue, Suite D 
El Cerrito, CA  94530 
510-231-8686 Phone