The California Energy Commission and the Department of General Services (DGS) today issued a call to all managers of state buildings in Southern California to take immediate steps to conserve energy.

The call for conservation comes as higher than normal temperatures are forecasted for Southern California next week, perhaps most severely on Monday and Tuesday. As warmer weather typically drives up the use of electricity, California energy leaders are expecting a significant demand on the state’s electricity resources.

“I am asking you to take all reasonable actions necessary to conserve electricity and natural gas at Southern California facilities,” wrote California Energy Commission Chair Robert B. Weisenmiller in an email to managers of state buildings. “This exceptional need for conservation now, is the direct result of higher temperatures and the limited availability of natural gas from the Aliso Canyon storage area near Woodland Hills. Nonetheless, conserving energy at any time and in any part of the state saves residents money and it improves our air quality by eliminating greenhouse gas emissions.”

DGS also issued guidance to managers of state run facilities – everything from office buildings, to parks, hospitals and prisons – urging conservation during the coming heatwave.

“It is critical that we in the state lead by example in cutting our energy consumption locally,” said DGS Director Daniel C. Kim in the letter from DGS to tenants of state buildings. “As participants in this energy conservation effort, we will do our part to ensure a stable and reliable energy system in California.”

The two agencies offered multiple ways to conserve energy, including:

  • Turn off all lighting not necessary for safety or productivity.
  • Turn the thermostat up.

  • Keep windows, doors and blinds closed, where feasible to keep cold air inside.
  • Turn off office equipment, computers, printers and other electrical equipment that is not required for productivity.
  • Unplug phone chargers and other small electronic devices not necessary for work.
  • Consider using a central copier, and turn off infrequently used copiers for the remainder of the day.
  • Turn off coffee makers and other break room electronics when not in use.
  • Turn hot water temperature down as appropriate.
  • If you use other appliances, avoid using them during the warmest hours of the day.

The need for conservation comes as forecasts call for higher than normal temperatures across the Southwest. Southern California typically gets much of its electricity from natural gas power plants. Under normal circumstances Aliso Canyon provides natural gas, especially at times of peak demand.

In addition to the call for conservation at state buildings, the California Independent System Operator may call on all consumers to reduce energy use during times of high demand by issuing a Flex Alert. Flex Alerts urge consumers to turn off all unnecessary lights, use major appliances only after 9 p.m., and set air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher. Consumers taking these simple steps can help prevent more serious power grid emergencies, such as electricity outages.

Click here to find out more about Flex Alert and to sign up for notifications.