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Don’t Charge Your Electric Vehicles

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With an increase in trying to find more environmentally friendly solutions, more people have been turning towards electric vehicles to cut down on emissions. California recently approved a plan to ban the sale of new gasoline cars but asked residents a week later to unplug for a little while.

The California Independent System Operator manages the state’s power grid. They sent a Flex Alert out asking residents to voluntarily reduce their electricity use between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. heading into Labor Day weekend. They also warned that more alerts would be possible throughout the long weekend itself.

The request to avoid charging electrical vehicles has been misrepresented by critics of California’s efforts to curb emissions. “We’re not saying don’t charge them. We’re just saying don’t charge them between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m,” a spokeswoman for the governor, Erin Mellon, said.

Even outside the heat wave, those hours tend to be the most expensive to plug in an electric vehicle because there is the most demand on the grid around that time. Most people are returning home from work and many businesses still remain open.

High temperatures in the state means the demand for more energy as people crank up those AC units. To avoid a blackout, the state operator urged residents to conserve power as much as possible by setting their thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, avoiding the use of major appliances and turning off unnecessary lights in the home.

Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed a number of climate bills, including more spending on environmentally friendly initiatives and sharp restrictions on oil and gas drilling. Hopefully, this funding helps reduce the state’s electricity prices since they have one of the highest in the country. Tyson Siegele, an energy analyst, said: “California is experiencing growing pains, just like any transition to a new and better technology.”

In a news conference, Governor Newsom said that heat waves had “never been more challenging” and highlighted the urgent need to transition to renewable energy. “We have been trying to outrun Mother Nature. But it’s pretty clear that Mother Nature has outrun us,” Governor Newsom said.

Source: https://www.caiso.com/Documents/california-iso-extends-flex-alert-to-thursday-sept-1.pdf

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