LOS ANGELES (August 31, 2017) — With a record breaking heat wave persisting across Los Angeles, and a statewide Flex Alert issued for Friday, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) continues to urge customers to reduce their electricity use as much as possible while staying safe. LADWP customers’ electricity use hit a new all-time peak demand on Thursday, the highest ever recorded in over 100 years, and another record peak demand is forecasted for Friday when temperatures are expected to be even hotter, especially along the coast.

LADWP customers set a new record for peak electricity demand of 6,502 megawatts (MW) at 4:15 p.m. today, shattering the previous historic peak demand of 6,396 MW, set on September 16, 2014. On Wednesday, the peak load was 6,160 MW which was the second consecutive day that a new record high for 2017 had been set.

LADWP advises customers to conserve electricity during the afternoons when air conditioners typically are at peak use. By conserving electricity, customers can help prevent power outages that can occur if electrical equipment becomes overloaded. The state Flex Alert and LADWP are calling for voluntary electricity conservation from 1 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday, which coincides with peak electricity use.

“Simple actions like setting your thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, using major appliances before or after peak hours, and turning off unnecessary lights can go a long way toward reducing the strain on our electrical equipment and overall power system demand,” said LADWP General Manager David H. Wright.  “High nighttime temperatures and around-the-clock demand for electricity by customers doesn’t allow our high-voltage equipment time to cool.  By reducing your electricity use, you can help prevent power outages during this record-breaking heat storm.”

Due to extreme heat and customer demand, high voltage electrical equipment at two of LADWP’s 125 in-basin distributing stations experienced overloading conditions earlier this week that resulted in outages on Tuesday and Wednesday.

LADWP power system officials explained that when electrical equipment at a distributing station becomes overloaded due to extreme demand, exacerbated by extreme heat, they will initiate rotating outages by turning off individual electrical circuits supplied by that station. While this action creates short outages for various neighborhoods served by those circuits, it is designed to protect the electrical system from further damage, and prevent more widespread outages from occurring. It also maintains electric service for the most customers possible.  Should rotating outages be needed again due to station overloading, LADWP will advise customers via Twitter @LADWP.

LADWP took this measure on Tuesday in Northridge and Boyle Heights, and again on Wednesday in Boyle Heights when equipment at the stations became overloaded.

LADWP encourages customers to help reduce strain on the local grid during this record breaking heat storm by using the following tips:

  • Adjust thermostat to 78 degrees to reduce energy usage during the hottest hours of the day when air conditioning systems have to work hardest to cool.
  • Limit the use of appliances during peak hours of the day- use washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and other heavy appliances during evening hours.
  • Close draperies, shades or blinds during the heat of the day to reduce the extra heat from direct sunlight.
  • Ventilate your home 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.
  • Unplug “energy vampires” like cell phone chargers, DVD players, microwave ovens and other appliances that use energy even when turned off or in sleep mode.

To report any loss of power, call 1-800-DIAL-DWP. To check on the status of outages, customers should check the Outage section on www.ladwp.com, and follow LADWP on Twitter: @LADWP.

For more energy-saving tips, visit www.ladwp.com/EEtips.

To read the City of Los Angeles’ Hot Weather Bulletin and for a list of cooling centers, see http://emergency.lacity.org/heat.

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