May 3, 2004

ROSEMEAD, Calif., May 3, 2004 —With today’s demand for power surpassing year-to-date records, The California System Operator (Cal-ISO) and Southern California Edison (SCE) are urging everyone to reduce their consumption of electricity.

This conservation appeal follows a transmission emergency declared at 2:30 p.m. by the Cal-ISO, the non-profit agency that manages most of California’s transmission power grid and secures power supplies for most of the state’s consumers.  Today’s higher demand for power could cause transmission limitations in the state’s North-South transmission system, which is currently operating near maximum capacity.

The Cal-ISO has requested SCE to implement its voluntary load shedding program, which includes those residential and business customers who, for a lower rate, volunteer to have their power interrupted during certain periods when demand is high.

The Cal-ISO has indicated it does not anticipate additional curtailments of service, commonly known as “rotating blackouts.”

SCE is encouraging all consumers and businesses to reduce their power use at this time by keeping their air conditioning thermostats set no lower than 78 degrees, reducing office lighting, and using nonessential business equipment and home appliances (e.g., clothes washers/dryers, and dishwashers) in the morning or evening when demand for power is lower. 

Following are other effective ways customers can cut their power use and not be greatly inconvenienced:

  • close drapes and blinds to keep out direct sunlight during hot periods;
  • use electric fans instead of air conditioning if practical;
  • avoid using evaporative coolers or humidifiers at the same time an air conditioner is running;
  • operate swimming pool equipment during early morning and evening hours; and
  • limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes.

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 12 million via 4.6 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.