California has been in a state of emergency since Friday, August 14th, but this time not because of COVID-19. Rolling electricity blackouts are occurring across California and the grid crisis is anticipated to continue through Thursday, August 20th as extreme temperatures and high-risk fire conditions persist across the state. The increase in cooling loads is driving demand (associated with cooling load) high, and at a time when reserve margins are low. This emergency threatens essential workers and other vulnerable populations.  What does this mean? It means more electricity is needed on the grid – and there are actions businesses can take right now to further prevent blackouts in California.

SCE Power Outage Map 
PG&E Power Outage Map


What you can do to help stop blackouts today

Smart energy management strategies, such as implementing automated demand response technology, enable buildings to use less energy, and respond to the immediate needs of the grid.

During these unprecedented times of stress on the California energy grid, here are a few additional steps you can take, even if you are not a GridPoint customer, to help reduce electricity demand between 3 pm-10 pm each day:

  • Turn off all non-essential lighting
  • Set your thermostat(s) to 78 degrees or higher, if health permits
  • Defer use of major appliances
  • Unplug appliances that are not in use
  • Refrain from charging cars during peak hours
  • Close blinds and drapes to keep rooms cool
  • Use fans when possible
  • Limit the time the refrigerator doors are open

Additionally, CAISO has lifted its restrictions on backup generation usage during DR events [Order 2]. Back-up onsite generators and storage can and should be used to provide capacity to the grid. If you are a GridPoint customer with one of these asset types, please contact us for load curtailment and automated demand reduction integration options.


GridPoint’s contribution to CASIO emergency preparedness for blackouts

GridPoint has designed its smart buildings platform to respond to the dynamic needs of the energy grid in real time. This past weekend, GridPoint’s distributed fleet of flexible capacity assets responded on-demand to CAISO’s emergency call to curtail all non-essential loads.

GridPoint deployed several MWs in less than 20 minutes on Saturday 8/15/20, supplying reliable capacity to the California grid.

For more information on how you can support California right now and prevent further blackouts, or if you are not yet enrolled in demand response programs, please contact us at [email protected].