SCE Customers Urged to Conserve More as Continuous Energy Consumption During Heat Wave May Result in Additional Outages

September 16, 2014

Media Contact: Susan Cox, (626) 302-2255

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Sept. 16, 2014 – As the heat wave continues and around-the-clock electricity consumption rises to potentially record usage, Southern California Edison (SCE) is urging its customers to help conserve energy wherever possible.

SCE’s year-to-date peak consumption of 23,055 megawatts was achieved on Monday, and the National Weather Service is predicting the heat wave conditions to persist through the middle of the week. SCE’s all-time weekday peak is 23,303 megawatts on Aug. 31, 2007.

SCE has acknowledged that the current strain on power from continuous usage because of the heat wave has caused utility-equipment failure and additional power outages across its service territory.

As a result, SCE has canceled all non-essential maintenance outages to ensure resources will be available to move quickly to complete repairs and restore power as quickly and safely as possible. SCE has replaced 245 transformers between Saturday and this morning. By comparison, SCE replaced 1,755 transformers during the Labor Day 2007 heat wave and 1,312 transformers during the July 2006 heat wave.

Priority restoration service is being given to customers who have been without electrical service the longest.

“We want to continue to thank our customers for their conservation and patience during these extreme weather conditions,” said Paul Grigaux, SCE’s vice president of Transmission, Substations and Operations.  “Southern California Edison crews are working day and night to restore power as quickly and as safely as they can for all of our affected customers. The severe heat wave is expected to continue and we encourage customers to conserve wherever possible.”

In response to the heat wave, SCE has activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) in Irwindale and it will remain activated for the duration of this event. The center operates as a centralized coordination point of communications for a number of activities related to the event, including notably: monitoring the grid, coordinating and deploying resources, checking weather patterns and focusing on the safety of customers and crews.

The California Independent System Operator said electricity consumption peaked Monday afternoon at 45,090 megawatts, exceeding the summer’s previous peak of 44,200 megawatts on July 30.

As temperatures climb, SCE urges customers to conserve by reducing their electricity use between noon-6 p.m. — the hours of peak energy use — to lessen strains on power supplies and the possibility of outages.

Some tips to conserve energy include:

  • Using electric fans instead of air conditioning when practical.
  • Turning off unused appliances and equipment.
  • Setting air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher.
  • Avoiding operating energy-intensive appliances late morning through the evening hours.
  • Limiting how often you open your refrigerator door.

For more energy-conserving tips and programs, including the Save Power Day program, visit: on.sce.com/tips.

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.

Topics: Customer Service, Safety