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Customers Urged to Conserve Power in the Evenings to Reduce Strain on the Power Grid
ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 8, 2012 — High demand for around-the-clock energy use — especially air conditioners — could lead to failed equipment and power outages for Southern California Edison customers as high temperatures are expected through the weekend.
Many customers have been using more energy in the evenings because of the high temperatures, especially air conditioning, which is putting a strain on SCE’s distribution equipment. This continuous use could result in the equipment failing. SCE has increased the number of crews available through this weekend to respond to outages in all of the areas the utility serves.
Customers are urged to conserve power throughout the day, but especially in the evenings as much as possible, including setting thermostats no lower than 78 degrees and using electric fans instead of air conditioning when practical. Conservation also helps customers keep their bills lower during high temperatures, as bills can increase by 30 percent for residential customers who use air conditioning.
- Turn off unused appliances and equipment.
- Shut off lights when leaving a room.
- Close drapes and blinds to keep out direct sunlight during hot periods.
- Avoid using evaporative coolers or humidifiers at the same time an air conditioner is running.
- Operate swimming pool equipment and energy-intensive appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, during early morning and evening hours.
- Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes.
- When possible, businesses should shift power-intensive work processes to morning or evening hours.
- Turn off lights in unused areas.
SCE recommends customers try to stay as cool as possible during the heat.
- Keep outdoor activities to a minimum, and drink a lot of water during the hottest parts of the day.
- During a power outage, turn off and unplug any unnecessary electrical equipment, including sensitive electronics.
- Open the refrigerator and freezer only when necessary to keep the food cold.
- Low-income and medically sensitive customers can take advantage of “Cool Centers,” which are operated by local governments and community-based organizations. A list of locations can be found at www.sce.com/coolcenters.
SCE recommends customers follow these safety tips if a power outage occurs:
- Use flashlights for lighting during a power outage; do not use candles because they pose a significant fire hazard.
- Never attempt to move or go near a downed power line. Call 911 to report the situation.
- Watch for traffic signals that may be out. Approach those intersections as four-way stops.
- If someone in your home is dependent on electric-powered, life sustaining medical equipment, have an emergency plan that includes a back-up power source, or make arrangements to relocate.
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.