Now that the sun-drenched and barbeque-filled Memorial Day weekend has come and gone, Southlanders are reminded that this is the perfect time to start conserving electricity before the hot summer months are here.
The California Independent System Operator recently announced that there will be adequate power supplies to meet summer peak conditions across the state this year. But in the same report, the system operator also warned that summer heat waves and the risk of wildfires would also impact transmission lines during periods of high demand.
Southern California Edison (SCE) is continuing to encourage its customers to sign up for various demand response programs to conserve energy and help keep electricity bills under control, including the Summer Discount Plan and Save Power Days programs.
“This year we are on pace to meet or exceed the number of customer enrollments for both the Summer Discount Plan and Save Power Days alert notifications,” said Tory Weber, SCE principal manager, Customer Service. “Our hope is that by partnering with our customers to conserve, we can help them manage their bills while ensuring that the strain on the grid is lessened this summer.”
Customers who sign up for the Summer Discount Plan can earn up to $200 in bill credits. After signing up, SCE installs a remote-controlled device on a customer’s air-conditioning system that can then be used to temporarily turn off or cycle a unit to conserve energy when demand is high. The plan is also customizable, so customers can save the greatest amount with the “standard” option, or choose the flexibility of an “override” option, which allows opting out of up to five energy event days a year. To sign up, visit: on.sce.com/sdp.
By signing up for the Save Power Day alert notifications, customers will receive a notification (by text, phone or email) the day before SCE calls a Save Power Day. To participate, customers will need to reduce their electricity use from 2 p.m. - 6 p.m. on a Save Power Day to earn up to $100 annually in bill credits. Save Power Days will only be called on weekdays, typically up to 12 days a year. To sign-up, visit: on.sce.com/powerday.
Conserving electricity could take on increased importance this summer if Southern California faces emergencies such as wide-spread wildfires that could impact the power grid. The California Independent System Operator has said that during these types of conditions, both demand response programs and Flex Alerts will likely be used to lessen the strain on the grid.
The Flex Alert program is funded by California’s investor-owned utilities and authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission. When a Flex Alert is called, Californians are asked to immediately save electricity and shift electricity usage to off-peak hours (after 6 p.m.). To learn more about Flex Alerts visit: www.flexalert.org/.