When the temperature goes up, California is more likely to be affected by Flex Alerts or rotating outages. While AMP's 100% clean portfolio is more than enough power for all Alameda residents and businesses, statewide power constraints put all Californians at risk of power outages, particularly during the summer months, when there is a higher electrical demand and lower supply conditions.
Flex Alert/Rotating Outage FAQs
What is a Flex Alert?
A Flex Alert is a call to consumers to voluntarily conserve electricity when the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) anticipates using nearly all available resources to meet demand. Reducing energy use during a CAISO Flex Alert can prevent more extreme measures, such as rotating outages. Whenever possible, Flex Alerts are issued a day before the expected energy shortage.
When and why does a rotating outage occur?
When energy conservation efforts are not enough, and real-time analysis of the power grid shows that all available energy resources are being used, rotating outages may become necessary to preserve the reliability of the grid. CAISO dictates the amount of power each utility must "shed" to keep the power grid up and running.
Why does Alameda have to participate in Flex Alerts and rotating outages?
While Alameda has sufficient supplies of power to meet all of its customer's needs, statewide power supplies are expected to be tight again this summer. CAISO energy shortfalls require all utilities in the state to participate in conservation and rotating outages.
What can I do to help reduce the chance of rotating outages?
- Conserve energy between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. when electricity demand is highest.
- If your home has air conditioning, set the thermostat to 78 degrees, if health permits.
- Use major appliances (e.g. oven, dishwasher, clothes dryer) before or after the critical energy demand times.
- Avoid charging electric vehicles during critical energy demand times.
- Turn off unnecessary lights in your home.
- Unplug unused electrical devices and power strips.
- Close blinds and drapes to keep the heat from the sun out.
- Use fans when possible.
- Limit the amount of time the refrigerator door is open.
- Before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m.
- Pre‐cool your home by setting the thermostat to a lower temperature.
- Charge electric vehicles.
- Charge mobile devices and laptops.
- Run dishwashers, clothes washers, dryers, and other appliances.
- Close window coverings to keep cool air in and the sun out.
- Check out AMP's rebates for purchases of energy-saving appliances.
How long will a rotating outage last?
When rotating outages become necessary, AMP will shut down circuits, usually one at a time, for one hour. Once a circuit has been shut down due to a rotating outage, it moves to the end of the rotation of circuits to be shut off.
How does AMP decide which circuits to shut off?
There are 10 circuits that are eligible for rotating outages throughout Alameda (not including the Alameda Hospital, Alameda Emergency Operations Center, Alameda Police Department, etc.). Once a circuit has been shut down due to a rotating outage, it moves to the end of the rotation of circuits to be shut off.
How can I make sure I’m prepared for a power outage?
- Sign up for text or email updates from AMP here.
- Follow AMP on Facebook and Twitter.
- Identify backup charging methods for phones and other electronic devices.
- Keep emergency, family, and other important phone numbers accessible in hard copy.
- Plan for any medical needs like medications that need to be refrigerated or devices that require power. If you are dependent on electric or battery‐dependent medical technologies such as breathing machines, a power wheelchair or scooter, and home oxygen or dialysis, it is critical that you have a plan in place for an extended power outage.
- Plan for the needs of pets.
- Build or restock your emergency kit with flashlights, fresh batteries, first aid supplies, cash, and food that will last up to five days.
- Know how to manually open your garage door.