Customers are urged to conserve energy to reduce strain on grid during extreme weather
LOS ANGELES (September 3, 2020)–In advance of an intense and potentially record-breaking heat wave set to hit Southern California and Los Angeles this Labor Day weekend, Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) crews have been busy preparing for the heat storm and are ready to respond to any power outages that occur. LADWP is also urging all customers to conserve energy this weekend in response to a FlexAlert issued by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) earlier today. Simple steps Angelenos can take like setting air conditioning to 78 degrees and using heavy appliances late at night can help reduce strain on power distribution equipment and prevent localized power outages, which result when extreme heat and demand for electricity overheats equipment.
LADWP crews have taken steps to prepare for the next heatwave by continuing to replace aging infrastructure as well as repairing and replacing equipment that was over-taxed in last month’s record-setting heatwave. This includes replacing transformers, completing repairs at distributing stations and other preventative work to shore up the power grid. However, with potentially record-breaking temperatures forecasted over the holiday weekend, localized power outages can occur when equipment is strained due to extreme power demand, made worse when high nighttime temperatures do not allow for equipment to cool off overnight.
“Our crews are prepared to respond to any outages and will work around the clock to restore power as quickly and safety as possible,’ said Martin L. Adams, LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer. “Everyone can help out by setting their air conditioners to 78 degrees, using curtains to block out direct sunlight, and doing laundry before this weekend or late at night. These simple steps can go a long way to limiting the strain on our power infrastructure that occurs when sudden and intense heat hits our system.”
LADWP recommends the following tips to save energy:
- Adjust air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees to reduce energy usage during the hottest hours of the day when air conditioning systems have to work the hardest to cool. And if you are away from your home, turn your air conditioning systems off.
- Ventilate the home in the early morning and evening by opening windows and doors to clear out the heat and allow cooler air to circulate. Close window curtains, shades or blinds during warmer hours to reduce the extra heat from direct sunlight coming through windows.
- Reduce power use during the afternoon/early evening hours from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. when energy use is highest. This includes limiting the use of major appliances—washing machines, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners—to the early morning hours or during late evening hours.
- Turn off lights and other electrical equipment when they are not in use. Unplug “energy vampires” like cell phone chargers, DVD players, microwave ovens and other appliances that use energy even when not in use.
- If possible, keep temperatures down indoors by avoiding cooking and baking. Instead, support a local restaurant and order in if you can.
If the power goes out, you can report it at www.ladwp.com/outages or by calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) if you prefer to speak to a customer service representative. Do not assume your neighbors have called to report the outage. It is important for customers to call and report the outage they are experiencing so that we have as much information as possible to address the issue. Customers can also sign up to receive outage alerts via phone or email. To learn more about and to sign up for neighborhood outages alerts, visit www.ladwp.com/outagealert. LADWP also shares updates on outage restoration progress on Twitter (@LADWP) and NextDoor.com.
In case of a power outage, here are some valuable tips for all customers on how to be ready and what to do:
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries nearby. Never use candles in a power outage or other emergency.
- Keep a fully charged cell phone on hand. During power outages, you may lose phone service and your cordless “land line” may also lose power.
- Switch off all lights, except for one, so you will know when your power has been restored.
- Turn off and unplug electrical equipment and appliances like computers, stereos, televisions and air conditioners, and heat-producing items such as irons or hot plates. This helps to prevent circuit overloading, which could delay restoration of service.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to protect their contents.
And remember, never touch a downed power line. Instead call 911.