As California’s power reserves continue to fall and local temperatures begin to rise, the California Independent System Operator could direct utilities to conduct involuntary rotating outages – for blocks of customers – across the service area until sufficient reserve levels are achieved.
The state’s independent system operator already issued a Flex Alert last Friday through Sunday urging California businesses, governments and residents to reduce electricity use voluntarily due to the increased demand for electricity during the heat wave.
As high temperatures continue in the region today, Southern California Edison (SCE) has crews available to respond to possible power outages due to wear on equipment. With the heat wave continuing, SCE will postpone a number of planned outages, but will continue to conduct some critical planning outages in its service territory. Conducting these critical planned outages helps lessen the possibility of equipment failure; unplanned outages last longer and affect more cutomers.
SCE has activated several savings programs for residential and business customers to earn bill credits for reducing their energy consumption. The largest program, which shuts off air conditioning for hourly intervals, is helping substantially. Some customers have been using more energy in the evenings, especially air conditioning, which is putting a strain on SCE’s distribution equipment.
Southern California Edison recommends customers:
• Set thermostats no lower than 78 degrees
• Use electric fans instead of air conditioning when practical
• Turn off unused appliances and equipment
• Shut off lights when leaving a room
• Avoid using evaporative coolers or humidifiers when air conditioning is running
• Operate energy-intensive appliances during early morning or evening hours
• Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators
• When possible, businesses should shift power-intensive work processes to off-peak times.
Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000 square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California. For updates, follow SCE on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SCE and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SCE.