LADWP News: LADWP Customers' Energy Demand Reaches 6,080 Megawatts During Heat Wave

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Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) customers reached the peak energy demand level of 6,080 Megawatts today, surpassing the previous record high for the month of June – 6,053 Megawatts set on the same date in 2008. While demand fell short of the all-time record for the City – 6,396 Megawatts from September 16, 2014 – today’s peak demand was over 50 percent higher than the amount of energy demand experienced on a typical June day in the City of Los Angeles. 

Power demand rises during heat waves as more customers operate air conditioners all at once, causing other appliances to work harder in order to perform and increasing the strain on neighborhood power distribution equipment. As high heat is expected again tomorrow, LADWP urges customers to save energy wherever possible while staying safe. By conserving, customers can help reduce the strain on the power grid and minimize the risk of power outages in their neighborhood. Currently, approximately 5,000 customers out of 1.4 million are without power citywide due to local issues on the distribution system.  LADWP is dispatching additional field crews to restore power to those impacted as soon as possible.

“Under these extreme conditions, our system is holding up quite well, but we urge our customers to continue to conserve to reduce strain on the grid.  Conserving electricity can help prevent a local power outage if you take simple steps like setting your thermostat to 78 degrees, turning off pool pumps and giving your appliances the day off tomorrow,” said Senior Assistant General Manager of Power Michael Webster.

The possibility of a power outage during a heat wave this summer is heightened because of the gas leak that occurred at the SoCal Gas Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility and resulting moratorium on new gas injections at Aliso Canyon. LADWP and other utilities serving the greater Los Angeles area depend upon this facility to maintain power reliability when energy use spikes during hot weather. Gas is used not only in homes and businesses, but is also primary fuel for gas-fired electric power plants. Aliso Canyon is the only gas storage facility that can immediately respond to rapid changes in gas supply for 17 gas-fired generating plants, including four generating stations operated by LADWP in the Los Angeles basin.

To help conserve energy, LADWP recommends the following:

  • Adjust air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees to reduce energy usage during the hottest hours of the day, 11:00 a.m. through 8:00 p.m., when air conditioning systems have to work hardest to cool.
  • Visit the local library, recreation center, mall, movie theater, or any other air conditioned gathering place to give your air conditioner a rest.
  • Limit use of major appliances during peak hours of the day--use washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and other heavy appliances during the early morning hours or after 6:00 p.m.
  • Close window curtains, shades or blinds during the heat of the day to reduce the extra heat from direct sunlight through windows.
  • 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.
  • 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.

For the latest information regarding power outages in Los Angeles, follow LADWP on Twitter @LADWP and visit www.ladwp.com and select “outages.”