With more hot weather on the way in the city, the department is requesting residents conserve energy where possible, especially between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
The 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. This puts strain and stress on electrical infrastructure and can overburden power lines, transformers and other equipment, causing them to fail. It can also trigger substation circuit breakers or other electrical equipment that is designed to protect the system to shut down automatically before serious damage occurs.
Despite temperatures exceeding 100 degrees in parts of the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys this week, the system has functioned well and power outages have been minimal, DWP reports; however, demand pushed up to a high range, averaging in the upper 5,000-megawatt range. LADWP’s all-time high energy demand was 6,177 megawatts, recorded in September 2010.
To help reduce energy use, LADWP recommends the following 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.
Find information about cooling centers open in Los Angeles County here.