A brownout is an event where there is not enough power to go around, so everyone has electricity, but the voltage levels go up & down erratically. This causes lights to dim & flicker, appliances such as TVs and computers to switch off and on, AC systems to fail etc…
During a brownout everyone must temporally reduce their power consumption. This will stop the brownout sooner, and stop it from becoming worse, or becoming a blackout. Turning off things like this will help greatly:
- Air conditioning units.
- Electric heaters.
- Desktop computers (unplugged laptop computers are fine)
- Internet Routers.
- Stereo systems.
Turn your lights off if the brownout occurs in full daylight, however if lighting is necessary leave them on. Lighting does not consume much power, and it can tell you when the brownout is over (when the dimming and flickering stops). You can then turn the desired appliances back on again.
During a brownout do not turn off your fridge or freezer, as they are necessary during a long brownout. As well as to prevent the brownout turning into a blackout, turning things like TVs off during a brownout is good because the constant turning off & on and be quite annoying.
If the consumers in the area of the brownout fail to reduce their power consumption, it can turn into a full blackout. Instead of brownouts, which generally only last a short time, blackouts can last for days, or even weeks! In my opinion, its worth sacrificing your comfort appliances for several hours rather than losing all power for several days.