The SMC Alert sounded dire and indeed it was. “Extreme heat is straining the energy grid. Conserve energy now to protect public health and safety … Power interruptions may occur unless you take action.”

Californians took notice and they took action. State officials say the load on the state’s grid eased noticeably during Flex Alerts that were called across the state from Sept. 5 through 9. We turned down our thermostats (at least those of us lucky enough to have thermostats). We put off the laundry and dishwashing and charging our electric vehicles until the crisis passed.

Clay Lambert is the editorial director for Coastside News Group. After years working at regional daily newspapers, he began as editor of the Half Moon Bay Review in 2004.

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