August 10, 2004

Utility reminds customers of the benefits of power conservation.

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 10, 2004–A heat wave and an unprecedented power demand resulted in Southern California Edison (SCE) supplying a record amount of energy to its customers today, 20,518 megawatts (MW) of electricity.

California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO) and SCE officials reported no major problems securing generation for customers today.  Additionally, Edison’s transmission and distribution system handled the high demand for power without any major disruptions.

The new demand peak, achieved at 4 p.m., eclipsed SCE’s previous record of 20,144 MW set on July 20, another scorching Tuesday.  Statewide, Cal-ISO reported record statewide electricity usage on Tuesday afternoon, 44,463 MW.  A megawatt is a unit of “instantaneous” power or demand, much as “horsepower” describes the amount of power an engine can produce at any given time.  A megawatt of power is enough to serve 500 to 1,000 homes at any given moment.

Today’s record was achieved as the Cal-ISO, which manages transmission and system reliability for 75% of the state, encouraged utility customers to “Flex Your Power Now,” a reference to the recently created energy conservation program.

SCE again is urging residential customers to practice energy conservation and take advantage of cost-saving programs available to them. Some of the energy efficiency programs currently offered by SCE to help residential customers reduce energy consumption and save money include:

  • Programmable Thermostats Rebates:  Customers can get a $20 rebate by purchasing an ENERGY STARÒ-labeled programmable thermostat at a participating home-improvement store.   Programmable thermostats can save up to 30% on the air conditioning portion of a customer’s electric bill.
  • Refrigerator/Freezer Recycling Rebates: Eligible customers can get $35 when they turn in old, working refrigerators or freezers.  Specific terms and conditions apply.
  • Pool Pump and Motor Replacement Rebates: Installing an energy-efficient pool pump and motor reduces energy usage and garners up to a $300 rebate.
  • Online Home Energy Survey: SCE customers can take an online home energy survey and receive customized energy-efficiency recommendations that can reduce their power use and lower their electricity bills. 
  • Multifamily Rebates:  Cash rebates are available for the installation of qualifying energy-efficient improvements. Property owners and property managers of existing residential multifamily complexes with five or more units can qualify, however, some restrictions apply.

Customers meeting income guidelines also can qualify for a replacement refrigerator, four free compact fluorescent light bulbs, or free weatherization services.

For more information on SCE’s energy efficiency programs, customers can go to and select “Save Energy & Money” or call 1-800-736-4777 weekdays during business hours.  For the Summer Discount Plan, click the “SDP Splash” button on the homepage or call 877-823-8716.

Funding for SCE’s energy efficiency programs is provided by California utility customers and administered by SCE within its service area under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. 

Some effective ways customers can cut their power use, especially during the peak consumption period of noon to 7 p.m., include:

  • Set air conditioning thermostats no lower than 78 degrees;
  • Turn off unused appliances and equipment;
  • 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 (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.