With temperatures expected to exceed 100 degrees in the San Fernando Valley today, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) urges customers to conserve energy use where possible, while not jeopardizing their health and safety.
“During times of extreme heat, we strongly encourage customers to conserve electricity as long as it does not jeopardize their own health or the health of their pets,” General Manager Marcie Edwards said.
LADWP officials said energy demand on Thursday was the highest so far this year – 5,679 megawatts – and is expected to be about the same today. The all-time peak power demand was 6,396 megawatts, reached on Sept. 16, 2014. Power use in Los Angeles averages about 4,700 megawatts during the summer, and usually increases in late August through September.
“Reducing your energy use during times of extreme heat and energy demand can help prevent outages that can occur if power system equipment heats up and becomes overloaded,” Edwards said.
The most effective time to save energy is between the hours of 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. when energy use is typically the highest. Extreme heat not only leads to more people operating their air conditioners all at once but also causes other appliances to work harder in order to perform, which increases the strain on neighborhood power distribution equipment. For those who are home during the day, cooling centers are available at libraries, senior centers, and other facilities around Los Angeles.
To help reduce energy use, LADWP recommends the following as highly effective conservation measures:
- 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.