Newsom Hails Success of Phone Alerts Urging Power Conservation

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Alert messages transmitted to millions of cell phones, urging Californians to slash their power use due to strain on the state’s power system, worked dramatically well Tuesday and staved off rolling blackouts, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Wednesday — but he expressed concern about over-using the message system.

Newsom, speaking to reporters in Beverly Hills, said 27 million messages were sent statewide calling for immediate power conservation, “and within minutes, we saw a roughly 2,600-megawatt reduction in usage.”

“Had that not happened, we would have had some episodic load reduction,” he said, referring to possible rolling blackouts. “That was extraordinary.”

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