CLIMATE WATCH - In preparation for the extended heat wave that is forecast to affect Southern California through Labor Day weekend, the Los Angeles Department of Water & Power (LADWP) is urging all customers to stay safe with tips for what to do to navigate the heat, including if a power outage occurs.
LADWP anticipates having adequate energy supply and emergency reserves within the City of Los Angeles to meet customer demand over the period of the heat wave, but circumstances can change quickly if wildfires threaten electrical transmission lines, or extreme overloading in isolated areas causes equipment to fail. “If a power outage occurs, we have crews who will respond to outages as quickly as possible to restore your power. Some outages can be restored quickly, while others require more extensive repairs, resulting in longer outages,” said LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer Martin Adams. “Be assured, our crews will work around the clock in extreme conditions to get your power back on.”
STAYING SAFE DURING EXTREME HEAT
During the heat wave LADWP encourages customers to conserve energy, but not at the expense of their health or safety. No customer should shut off their AC because of financial concerns. LADWP has flexible payment plans and is launching a level payment plan in September as part of its “Cool LA” initiative to help customers spread out their seasonal utility bills. Beginning September 12th, customers can call 1-800-DIAL-DWP to sign up for level pay or make extended payment arrangements to help manage their summer utility bills.
“Extreme heat can be life threatening, especially to our elderly and low-income customers, many of whom live on fixed incomes and try to save money by turning off their air conditioners. We want them to know that their safety and health comes first and we will work with them to help manage and spread out their summer utility bills,” said Cynthia McClain-Hill, LADWP Board President. “We encourage every Angeleno to conserve energy by setting their air conditioners to 78 degrees, but don’t shut them off during extreme heat to save money. We can help.”
The City of Los Angeles has also opened cooling centers to help Angelenos beat the heat. (See resources below for locations)
WHY DO POWER OUTAGES OCCUR DURING EXTREME HEAT
During extreme heat events like this heat wave, localized power outages can occur due to equipment strain and overloading caused by continuous use. The strain on equipment is made worse when temperatures remain high overnight, preventing electrical circuits, transformers and other electrical equipment from cooling off.
CONSERVING ENERGY SAFELY
Customers can help lessen strain on their neighborhood electrical grid by following these energy-saving tips:
- Ventilate your home in the early morning and evening by opening windows and doors to clear out the heat and allow cooler air to circulate. Close window curtains, shades, or blinds during warmer hours to reduce the extra heat from direct sunlight coming indoors.
- Adjust air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees to reduce energy usage during the hottest hours of the day when air conditioning systems have to work the hardest to cool. If you are away from your home, turn your air conditioning systems off.
- Reduce energy use during the afternoon/early evening hours from 4pm to 9pm when energy use is highest by limiting the use of major appliances such as washing machines, vacuum cleaners, and dishwashers during those hours.
- Turn off lights and unplug “energy vampires” like fully-charged cell phones plugged into chargers, computers, laptops, charging cables, and other appliances that use energy even when not in use.
- Avoid using the stove and range if possible, which can help to keep temperatures down indoors.
In case of a power outage, LADWP asks that customers be prepared and stay safe by following some valuable tips below.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR POWER GOES OUT DURING A HEAT WAVE:
See below for outage tips:
- Seek a place to stay safe and cool if the temperatures are unsafe.
- Keep a flashlight and extra batteries nearby. Never use candles in a power outage or other emergency.
- Keep a fully charged cell phone on hand. During power outages, you may lose phone service and your cordless “land line” may also lose power.
- Switch off all lights, except for one, so you will know when your power has been restored.
- Turn off and unplug electrical equipment and appliances like computers, televisions and air conditioners, and heat-producing items such as irons or hot plates. This helps to prevent circuit overloading, which could delay restoration of service.
- Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to protect their contents.
- And remember, never touch a downed power line! Stay away and call 911 instead.
REPORTING A POWER OUTAGE & RECEIVING OUTAGE NOTIFICATIONS:
LADWP crews are prepared to respond to any outages and will work around the clock to restore power as quickly and safely as possible if and when they occur. You can sign up to receive outage alerts via email and/or text in either English or Spanish for up to three neighborhoods. You must have an online account with LADWP and be the account holder on record to sign up at http://www.ladwp.com/outages to receive outage alerts.
If the power goes out, you can also report it at www.ladwp.com/outages or by calling 1-800-DIAL-DWP (1-800-342-5397) if you prefer to speak to a customer service representative. Do not assume your neighbors have called to report the outage. It is important for customers to report the outage they are experiencing so LADWP crews have as much information as possible to address the issue.
(LADWP also regularly shares outage information via the Nextdoor App and via our newsroom at www.ladwpnews.com.)