By CALIFORNIAN STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS
Operators of California's electricity grid have declared a Flex Alert for Tuesday to encourage conservation as inland regions, including Kern County, continue to swelter in high heat.
The California Independent System Operator said Monday that the forecast peak demand is 47,500 megawatts and conservation will be critical.
A Flex Alert is an urgent call to conserve electricity and shift use to off-peak hours. It's meant to reduce the demand on the power grid.
A Flex Alert was also called on Friday and Cal-ISO says consumers reduced demand by nearly 1,000 megawatts, equal to the output of two large power plants.
The National Weather Service has issued excessive-heat warnings for the central and southern San Joaquin Valley and from Santa Barbara County through southeastern California.
Mid-afternoon Monday, the temperature in Bakersfield had already soared to 109 degrees, with a 20 percent chance of isolated thunderstorms.
Temperatures in Bakersfield were forecast to remain in the triple-digits throughout the week, with highs predicted at 106 on Tuesday, 103 on Wednesday, 104 on Thursday and 101 on Friday.
A wide area of mountains and adjacent deserts in the inland region east of Los Angeles is under a flash-flood watch because of very moist and unstable conditions that will produce afternoon thunderstorms.
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. issued the following tips, urging customers to reduce their energy use, especially between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m:
* Adjust your thermostat to 78 degrees or higher or turn it off if you will be away from home. Use a fan instead of air conditioning, when possible.
* Draw drapes and turn off unnecessary lighting.
* Keep refrigerator full (with bottles of water if nothing else) and unplug the second refrigerator.
* Avoid using electrical appliances and devices. Put off tasks like vacuuming, laundry, dish washing and computer time until after 6 p.m.
* Set your pool pump to run overnight instead of during the day.