• Text emergency to avoid possible California power cuts in California

    A text message in an emergency prevented blackouts that could occur in the State of California this Tuesday.

    The message urged residents to restrict energy usage to three hours to minimize the chance of power outages which are in the process of being implemented.

    The California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO) stated that the company "saw an immediate and significant drop" in electricity usage after the message was transmitted.

    It was announced that record temperatures caused pressure on the grid of electricity in the state.

    The message, known as a flex alert, was designed by Cal-ISO to motivate users to save the use of electricity when their supply is running out.

    The text is distributed prior to the time that plans are made.

    A few of the suggestions are setting the thermostat up to 25C (77F) as well as not using appliances for cooking, like microwaves, kettles and ovens.

    During times of the alert, people are advised to chill their homes in advance and to adjust drapes and blinds so that windows are fully covered.

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    Emma Hill, the principal lecturer in environmental and energy Management at Coventry University, said the messaging system seemed to be having an impact.

    "There seems to be a correlation between the text being sent out and a reduction in demand for electricity," she added.

    She also told her colleagues at the BBC that one of the reasons behind this could be that people don't want to be impacted by power cuts for long lengths of time.

    "If you have very high demand in very high temperatures, when your electricity production is low, you risk damaging the equipment, like the transformers and the overhead lines, and they take time to repair," she added.

    The alert focused on 24 counties, including Los Angeles and the Bay Area, due to the increase in population and usage of air conditioning.

    One Californian was on Twitter to discuss the actions that he took.

    Could we see similar responses here in the UK?

    Ms Hill is of the opinion that the UK has more resilience to events like this.

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    "Ten decades ago," UK operators of networks like National Grid and smaller disruption network operators were required to evaluate the risk of climate change to all systems.

    "Due to that assessment, plans were made to manage that risk through damage management, communication or through improving the technology," she stated.

    The National Grid Electricity System Operator spokesperson has told BBC: BBC: "There are established methods for communicating in the event of an emergency.

    "Due to the nature of these emergency communications and procedures we do not comment on the specifics of how these work."

    Updated on 3:53-am September 10,2022

    Tags: United states, California, heat waves