CA Gov. Gavin Newsom declares state of emergency amid historic heat wave

Gage Skidmore/Creative Commons
By declaring a state of emergency, California Gov. Gavin Newsom has granted some energy users the ability to temporarily use backup energy sources, which will relieve pressure on the grid. (Photo by Gage Skidmore under CC BY-SA 2.0)

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Amid a historic heat wave on the West Coast and energy shortages in the area, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Monday, which will free up energy capacity.

The emergency proclamation is also designed to reduce the need for temporary energy service disruptions. According to a press release, the proclamation allows some energy users to temporarily use backup energy sources, which will relieve pressure on the grid during peak times.

To help conserve power, energy experts are asking users to use air conditioning early in the day, avoid appliance use from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and preset thermostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit or higher for this week.

In response to the blackouts over the weekend, Newsom sent a letter to the California Independent System Operator, California Public Utilities Commission and California Energy Commission demanding an investigation into the disruptions and the agencies’ failure to predict and mitigate them.

“These blackouts, which occurred without prior warning or enough time for preparation, are unacceptable and unbefitting of the nation’s largest and most innovative state,” Newsom said in the press release. “This cannot stand. California residents and businesses deserve better from their government.”

Maria Young is a deputy news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @maria_myoung.