If you live in Northern California, you’ve probably noticed that we are having a heat wave with record-breaking temperatures. It’s hot. Really hot. And Northern Californians are rumored to be notoriously wimpy in extreme heat or cold (it’s partially true, not gonna lie).

Hot weather means more fans and air conditioners running. Add that to regularly operating appliances and lighting and you’ve got a big strain on the electric grid. In fact, a Flex Alert is in place between noon and 7 p.m. through tomorrow to hopefully relieve the grid enough so that we don’t have any blackouts (remember 2003?).

And don’t forget: the more electricity you use, the higher the rate you pay.

Conserving energy is key for grid stability and keeping your costs manageable. But how far do you need to go? Are you sacrificing your comfort for fear of high electricity prices?

Enter solar power – with the growing number of solar installations, the electric grid is getting some help with the heavy lifting. According to the California ISO, a new solar generation peak was reported on June 21st of 2,245MW.

To help put that into perspective, today’s current demand for the state as this article is being written is 43,756MW of electricity. Which means that roughly 5% of energy in California is being generated by solar panels right now.

Now, 5% is amazing, but California is on track to produce much more, whether it’s utility, commercial, residential, or agricultural projects. And helping the grid isn’t exactly what it’s all about. Installing solar panels actually saves money, and that’s the big motivator for most people when it comes down to it.

But if there’s anything to be learned from a heat wave, it’s that our climate is changing and we are in a position to do something about it even on a personal level.

And if your home is already solar-powered, be proud that you are trying to make a difference for future generations by promoting renewable energy! Tell your family, tell your friends, and even tell your enemies – we can never have too much solar.