August 31, 2007

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 31, 2007 – Southern California Edison (SCE) supplied a record amount of electricity to its customers today, 23,303 megawatts of power delivered at 3 p.m. PDT, surpassing the previous record of 22,889 megawatts supplied on July 25, 2006.

The tremendous demand for electricity is being attributed to increased air conditioner use brought on by residual heat built up over several days. One megawatt is enough power to supply about 650 homes.

Even though the average daily temperatures have been higher than normal, this is the first significant call for conservation this summer.

As the heat wave continues during the holiday weekend, SCE is encouraging residential customers to practice energy conservation and take advantage of cost-saving programs available to them. 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.
  • Use electric fans instead of air conditioning if practical.
  • Turn off unused appliances and equipment.
  • Close drapes and blinds to keep out direct sunlight during hot periods.
  • Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes.
  • 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.

To address growing customer demand after last summer’s heat waves, SCE has increased its resources to mitigate any service interruptions to customers this year. A total of 600 megawatts of new resources are online — more than half the generating capacity of a large power plant and enough power to serve 400,000 average homes. The new capacity is from three sources:

  • SCE has installed more than 180 megawatts of new air conditioning cycling capacity since last summer, raising the total demand response capability of this voluntary residential program to 560 megawatts and of all such SCE programs — residential and business — to 1,260 megawatts. 
  • SCE also has built four new peaker plants, which are high-tech efficient gas-powered generators that put 45 megawatts into the communities where they are located. 
  • SCE signed a long-term contract with NRG Energy, making it possible for NRG to refurbish and return to service a dormant 260 megawatt generating facility in Long Beach that became operational earlier this summer.

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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 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.