August 3, 2004

PALM DESERT, Calif., August 3, 2004 – Southern California Edison (SCE) is joining the American Red Cross and Eisenhower Medical Center to warn Coachella Valley residents of the health hazards associated with summer heat waves.

“We encourage SCE customers in the Coachella Valley to stay cool and healthy and prevent heat-related illnesses,” said Kathleen DeRosa, SCE’s Public Affairs Region Manager.  “SCE doesn’t want anyone to risk their health or comfort during the hot summer months because they fear a large electric bill.  SCE provides energy conservation programs and payment extensions to help customers beat the heat and use energy wisely,” DeRosa added.

“Summer time can include health concerns for residents in the Coachella Valley.  This is especially true for infants, young children, seniors, and those with chronic medical conditions,” said Pam Anderson, executive director of the Riverside County Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Health and safety tips and energy conservation suggestions were available at a news conference the American Red Cross and SCE held today at the Joslyn Senior Center in Palm Desert.  Seniors from the Joslyn Senior Center wore clothing to stay comfortable during summer heat.  SCE provided tips on how to save energy and money and help to manage energy bills.

The event also featured advice on how to recognize and avoid heat-related illnesses, given by Dr. Anthony Streutker, who is board certified in Family Practice, is a Medical Review Officer for the State of California, and is the Medical Director of both Eisenhower Medical Center Employee Health Services and Eisenhower Occupational Health Services, Cathedral City.

SCE’s website,, includes information on rebates for energy-efficient products and rate discounts for residential customers who participate in its energy efficiency programs. 

 “We’re recommending that our customers take advantage of those rebates and programs to help them comfortably manage their electric bills when temperatures rise,” Kathy DeRosa said.

 Hot-weather tips from SCE:

  • Rebates for qualifying energy-efficient products, such as programmable thermostats, pool pumps and ducted evaporative coolers.
  • Keeping thermostats set to 78 degrees, a simple way to stay cool and keep energy costs down.
  • The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, which provides a 20% discount on electric rates for income-qualified customers.
  • The Medical Baseline program, which allows additional electric usage, charged at the lowest rate, if someone in the household has a medical condition that requires the use of electrically powered equipment or has a qualifying illness. A doctor’s certification is required.

For more information on SCE’s programs and services, call (800) 655-4555 or visit

Hot-weather tips from the American Red cross: 

  • Wear a hat and light-weight, light-colored clothing on hot, sunny days
  • Drink water or other non-caffeine, non-alcoholic beverages
  • Eat small meals
  • Slow down and avoid strenuous activity during the hottest time of day
  • Take regular breaks from physical activity
  • Stay indoors whenever possible 

The Riverside County Chapter of the American Red Cross is a humanitarian organization with 1,800 volunteers and serves 1.7 million people in Riverside County, providing relief to victims affected by disasters and helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.  For more information, visit,

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An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) 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.