How to Prepare for Rolling Blackouts in California

how to prepare for rolling blackouts

How to Prepare for Rolling Blackouts in California

California has been facing rolling blackouts each summer for years, and 2022 is no exception. At Energy Saving Pros, we understand how frustrating these power outages can be, especially when dealing with life-threatening heat waves. Because they’re an unavoidable part of summer now, we put together this guide on how to prepare for rolling blackouts with solar power storage and other solutions.

Why Does California Have Rolling Blackouts?

When excessive heat waves hit California, the high demand for cool air puts extreme stress on the power grid. To avoid damaging their equipment, utility companies implement a series of temporary power outages called rolling blackouts that cut power from one section of the grid at a time for several hours. Without these planned power outages, the high power demands could overload the system and completely shut down the grid indefinitely. 

Although these planned outages protect hospitals and other essential sites from unexpected, prolonged grid failures, they also make California residents vulnerable to the high temperatures. It’s crucial to prepare your home for both rolling blackouts and unexpected ones so you can protect your family from the heat. 

How to Prepare for a Summer of Rolling Blackouts in California

1: Install Solar Panels with Backup Batteries

The best way to prepare for rolling blackouts is to ensure your home doesn’t lose power when they hit. However, because they are still connected to the grid, you can’t do that with solar panels alone. When your section of the grid loses power, your solar panels can no longer run and convert the sun’s energy into electricity. 

Luckily, with solar backup batteries, you can still power your home during blackouts. Solar backup batteries store the excess energy that your solar panels generate during the day, which you can then use to power your home when necessary. Whether your home faces wildfires, storms, strong winds, or planned blackouts, you won’t need to worry about losing power. Solar backup batteries also allow you to power your home at night without the need to rely on the grid. 

2: Get a Backup Generator

Although solar backup batteries are the most efficient option, they aren’t the only way to prevent your home from losing power. A backup generator will turn on the moment the grid goes down, and turn back off as soon as power is restored. Generators are a more affordable option than solar, but they are also much noisier, and need fuel (like gasoline or propane) to work. 

3: Build an Emergency Kit

Whether or not you have a backup power solution, it’s always a good idea to have an emergency disaster kit on hand. A basic emergency kit should include flashlights, batteries, bottled water, non-perishable food, portable phone chargers, and a first aid kit. Blankets, cash, and copies of important documents are also good to have in case you need to leave your home. 

Make sure your kit contains enough emergency items for each member of your family to use. And, if you have pets, don’t forget to include plenty of food and water for them as well. 

4: Know Where to Find a Cooling Center

Without any power to cool your home, the California heat can be deadly, so it’s important to know where your closest cooling centers are located. Cooling centers are public air-conditioned facilities such as libraries, community centers, and malls. You can reduce your chances of heat stroke by spending a few hours at a cooling center each day you are without air conditioning in your home in the summer. 

Backup Power Solutions in Sacramento

Whether you’re considering solar panels with backup batteries or a backup generator for your home, Energy Saving Pros can help. We’ll work with you to determine the best backup power solution for your needs so you can properly prepare for rolling blackouts. Call 916-259-2501 today to get a free quote. 

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (7/22/2022). Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash