Media Contact: Media Relations, (626) 302-2255
ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 10, 2012 - With the warmest temperatures expected today during this week's heat wave, Southern California Edison (SCE) is urging its customers to conserve energy to reduce strain on the system and has crews available to respond to possible power outages.
As strain on California's power grid continues, the California Independent System Operator issued a statewide Flex Alert in effect today urging businesses, governments and residents to reduce electricity use voluntarily until 6 p.m. More details about the Flex Alert are available at: www.sce.com/FlexAlert. An SCE video on ways to reduce energy and tips to stay cool is at: www.youtube.com/SCE.
This weekend, energy use is expected to shift to residential customers as most people will be at home rather than at work, so conservation is key. Some customers have been using more energy in the evenings this week, especially air conditioning, which is putting a strain on SCE's distribution equipment. Without the opportunity for SCE's equipment to cool off, transformers and other equipment could fail.
SCE has postponed a number of planned outages, but will continue to conduct some critical planned outages in its service territory. Conducting these critical planned outages helps lessen the possibility of equipment failure; unplanned outages last longer and affect more customers.
Earlier this week, SCE activated several savings programs for residential and business customers to earn bill credits for reducing their energy consumption. The largest program, the Summer Discount Plan, which shuts off air conditioning for hourly intervals, has helped substantially. SCE may implement these programs again during the heat wave.
For customers who have medical equipment at home, please call SCE to receive outage notifications and a reduced rate if you qualify for medical baseline. Because SCE cannot guarantee uninterrupted service, it is important that customers’ emergency plans include having sufficient standby battery power or a back-up portable unit to power in-home medical equipment.
- Set thermostats no lower than 78 degrees.
- Turn off unused appliances and equipment.
- Use electric fans instead of air conditioning when practical.
- Shut off lights when leaving a room.
- Close drapes and blinds to keep out direct sunlight during hot periods.
- Avoid using evaporative coolers or humidifiers at the same time an air conditioner is running.
- Operate swimming pool equipment and energy-intensive appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, during early morning and evening hours.
- Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes.
- When possible, businesses should shift power-intensive work processes to morning or evening hours.
- Turn off lights in unused areas.
SCE recommends customers try to stay as cool as possible during the heat.
- Keep outdoor activities to a minimum, and drink a lot of water during the hottest parts of the day.
- During a power outage, turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
- Open the refrigerator and freezer only when necessary to keep the food cold.
- Low-income and medically sensitive customers can take advantage of "Cool Centers," which are operated by local governments and community-based organizations. A list of locations can be found at www.sce.com/coolcenters.
SCE recommends customers follow these safety tips if a power outage occurs:
- Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage; do not use candles because they pose a significant fire hazard.
- Never attempt to move or go near a downed power line. Call 911 to report the situation.
- Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, 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.