Market Overview

PG&E Urges Customers to Conserve Energy, Stay Safe During Heat Wave


California's grid operator has called a statewide Flex Alert for
tomorrow and Wednesday, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
urges its customers to conserve energy as triple-digit heat will impact
much of the company's service area.

The California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a Flex
, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, from 5 p.m. to
9 p.m. Tuesday (July 24) and Wednesday (July 25). The ISO and PG&E are
asking consumers to conserve electricity especially during the late
afternoon when customers typically crank up their air conditioners.

ISO says factors prompting the Flex Alert are high temperatures across
the Western United States, a forecast of increased demand, the lack of
additional generation, tight gas supplies and high-fire risk.

PG&E meteorologists forecast that temperatures will reach near 110
degrees in the hottest locations in the Central Valley, driving up
energy demand and especially air conditioner use.

PG&E is prepared and, based on forecasts, doesn't anticipate any issues
meeting the increased demand for power.

ISO forecasts customer demand for energy will reach 48,179 megawatts
(MW) on Tuesday. Peak load in the 20-year history of ISO is 50,270 MW on
July 24, 2006.

PG&E also urges customers to stay safe during this heat wave. The
company funds cooling centers throughout its service area to help
customers escape the heat and cool off. To find a center near you click here
or call 1-877-474-3266.

About 425,000 residential and business customers are enrolled in five
PG&E Demand Response programs. Collectively, their ability to reduce
consumption is at a level that would prevent the need to utilize a
gas-fired power plant.

Small behavioral changes also can make a big difference in reducing
demand on the power grid during periods of extreme heat and help
customers save money all summer long.

  • Set your air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees or higher when
    you're at home, health permitting, and 85 degrees when you're away.
  • Setting your AC thermostat 5 degrees higher will save about 10 percent
    on cooling costs.
  • If you turn your ceiling fan on when using the air conditioner, you
    can raise your thermostat about 4°F to save energy with no reduction
    in comfort.
  • Shut windows and draw the shades to keep in pre-cooled air from the
    night and early morning.
  • Have your central cooling duct system checked for leaks. Up to 20
    percent of cooled air can be lost through leaky or poorly insulated
  • Buy an ENERGY STAR® air conditioner if your air conditioner is ready
    to be replaced. It can reduce energy usage by up to 10 percent.
  • Avoid using an electric oven on hot days. Instead, cook on the stove,
    use a microwave oven, or grill outside.

For more tips on how to save this summer, visit

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E
(NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas
and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San
Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of
the nation's cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and
Central California. For more information, visit

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