A Stage 2 emergency is called when power reserves dip below five percent (they're normally not supposed to get lower than seven percent). At this point, no rolling blackouts are planned, but businesses who volunteered compliance in order to get lower rates will have their electricity dimmed, and BART will be running slower (they estimate the power we'll save from BART is enough to power 5000-7000 homes). They've also asked everyone to raise their thermostats to 82 degrees and not to use any major appliances until after 5 p.m. We're always looking for an excuse not to do laundry.
Today's energy load is expected to exceed 52,000 megawatts -- in comparison, in 2000-2001, the max load was 37,000. Half a million people in the area lost power over the weekend as 2400 transformers blew out from the increased load. Twenty wildfires were ignited due to the heat, one family's house burned down from a candle they were using for light, and a Stockton nursing home resident's death is being investigated as possibly heat-related.
When's it going to get better? SFGate says maybe Wednesday? Man, we miss the fog.