May 16, 2008
ENERGY CONSERVATION AS
WEATHER HEATS UP
Smart Energy Use Saves Money, But Elderly & Infirm Urged to Put Health and Safety First
LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) reminds Angelenos to make energy conservation and personal health and safety a priority as we move into a period of hot weather. Conserving energy is a good way to save money and help the environment by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Elderly and infirm customers should also always remember to put their health and welfare above any concerns about paying their power bill.
Even with temperatures rising, the LADWP has adequate energy resources to meet forecasted loads through this heat wave. But using energy wisely is always a good practice and is especially recommended when temperatures soar. LADWP’s energy capacity is about 7200 megawatts to serve its 1.4 million electricity customers. Local energy demand usually runs higher when temperatures heat up, as businesses and residents turn up their air conditioners. The demand peaks in the late afternoon can put a strain on the electrical infrastructure.
“Conserving energy is always wise and all of us should do what we can to reduce energy use,” said LADWP CEO and General Manager David Nahai. “Simple steps like not using clothes washing machines or other major appliances during the mid-afternoon and setting air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees can save energy and help alleviate strain on our energy transmission system.”
Nahai also warned that the elderly and medically needy should take steps to keep cool and to always put their personal health and welfare first. “We don’t want any elderly or infirm customer to feel they cannot run their air conditioning because they cannot afford to do so. Power costs in Los Angeles are quite low and the LADWP has elderly and low-income discount programs that can reduce a customer’s bill even further – by as much as an additional 30%. Our low-income customers should call us to make sure they are receiving the lowest possible rate for their electricity. We will also work with customers to pay their bill over time when financial hardship is experienced, Nahai said.”
LADWP customers are encouraged to take advantage of the many programs the LADWP offers that can help customers conserve energy and water, as well as save money. Programs include the Consumer Rebate Program; Refrigerator Retire Program; Low Income Refrigerator Exchange Program; Trees for a Green LA Program and more. The LADWP is ready to assist customers in using resources wisely.
There are a variety of things you can do to lower your utility bills and reduce energy use. Listed below are some of the most effective ways to help you conserve energy, trim costs and gain control over energy usage.
FOR THE HOME
- Adjust thermostat to 78 degrees to reduce energy usage.
- Limit the use of appliances during peak hours of the day-use washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and other heavy appliances during evening hours.
- Try to avoid cooking during peak hours of the day since it will add to the heat inside the home.
- Ventilate your home at night by opening windows and doors to clear out the heat and allow cooler air to circulate.
- Turn off lights and equipment when they are not in use.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) wherever appropriate.
- During the heat of day, close your draperies, shades, or blinds to reduce the extra heat from direct sunlight and check your home for adequate insulation.
- Plant shade trees, to reduce heat gain to the house.
- Install / Use ceiling fans or whole house fans for comfort cooling.
- Install a programmable thermostat to adjust the temperature automatically and maximize your energy savings.
- Clean or replace your air-conditioner’s filter(s) every month to keep your air-conditioner running more efficiently.
- Regularly brush or vacuum the condenser coils at the bottom or rear of your refrigerator and check door gasket for tight fit and adjust if necessary.
- Buy energy-saving “Energy Star” labeled appliances.
- Limit the time you run your pool pump: Summer-six hours a day.
FOR THE OFFICE
- Turning off your desk and overhead lights, and meeting room lights, if they are not needed.
- Keep personal appliance use to minimum.
- Turn off all computer equipment when you leave the office or when they are not being used.
- Be sure your computer equipment goes into the sleep mode when not in use. (80% savings in energy use)
- Go paperless when possible. Reduced printing and copying translates into reduced energy use.
- Promote “casual Friday dress” as a means of raising the cooling settings on thermostats.