California heat wave calls for energy conservation

As we step into September, we have also slipped into an unexpected heat wave that has swept the state with numbers reaching well over 100 degrees in some areas.

From excessive heat warnings to state-wide flex alerts, this weather has not only caused heat strokes and sweat stains, but potential energy blackouts as well.

Since the temperatures have gone up and the heat started to hinder California, Flex Alerts have made their way to the surface.

Flex Alerts are essentially ISO trackers that sends notifications to Californians asking them to conserve energy in order to avoid overpowering the grids. It seems quite beneficial for preventing possible power outages, although potentially difficult for a society dealing with uncomfortable weather.

So how does heat even affect our power? According to Heat Wave Information from Direct Energy, a North American energy service retailer, it’s actually not the heat that causes a power outage, it’s the increased usage of air conditioning.

This simultaneous use of energy requires a large amount of electricity, thus creating a strain on transmission lines.

Whilst many, like myself, would rather bask in the cool air conditioning, taking the moment to conserve energy is very important, especially after realizing how excessive energy use can cause power outages and other electrical issues.

Although it may seem difficult, it is not impossible to stay cool in this heat while still conserving energy. Here are five tips shared by Long Beach State students on how they are saving energy while still staying cool during the current heat wave.

#1: Go to the beach

Lucky for CSULB students, there are many beaches nearby to explore. Valerie Sanchez, a third-year liberal studies student, thinks that going to the beach is the perfect way to stay cool while conserving energy. “The beach is a really relaxing place to cool down,” said Sanchez. She suggests going for a swim or even having a picnic.

#2: Hit the pool

Perhaps you’re not a fan of the salty air and slimy sea critters, but still want to swim. Adrian Hernandez, a first-year accounting student, says that going swimming in a pool is a great way to stay cool without AC. “The water’s always nice and cold,” Hernandez said. “You’ll feel the heat, but it won’t be that bad since you’ll be in the water.”

#3: Take a cold shower

So maybe you just don’t like emerging yourself into large bodies of water, but you still want that cold H2O to cool you down. Ian Gosselin, a third-year finance business student, thinks that “cold showers work like a charm” on a hot day.

#4: Sit under a shady tree

It’s not uncommon to see students around CSULB enjoying the shade under the many trees on campus. A third-year journalism student, Jensen Puckett, thinks that doing so is a great way to stay out of the sun during a heat wave. “Find a big ol’ tree and sit under it,” said Puckett.

#5: Drink water

It is important to stay hydrated during any type of weather. However, first-year chemistry student, Caden Taylor, says that it will especially help during hot days. “Drinking water will lower your body’s temperature so making sure you stay hydrated will definitely help,” said Taylor.

With these helpful ideas, conserving energy during the heat wave to prevent possible power outages doesn’t have to be as miserable as it may seem.

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