Preparing for the Long, Hot Days of Summer
Barbeques, pool parties and trips to the beach are just a few things that come to mind when you think of summer. Long, hot days are another. With the arrival of summer, we have already seen temperatures across much of Southern California 10-20 degrees above normal.
And if last week’s heat wave is any indication of what’s ahead, Southern California is in for a hot summer.
Extended hot weather can put stress on the power grid. Southern California Edison takes a number of steps to prepare for heat waves, including having crews available to make repairs as quickly and safely as possible, reviewing scheduled maintenance outages and, when possible, scheduling work to take place in the morning.
SCE has also been actively working to bring more emissions-free energy storage online in time for this summer and will have about 1,000 megawatts of energy storage available. That is more than 15 times the amount of energy storage that SCE had online last summer. This will provide additional reliability to the grid, especially during the critical hours of 4-9 p.m. when electricity use typically increases and the production of solar power decreases.
SCE is also improving and implementing more demand response programs that will help save customers money and support the grid in times of need. Additionally, SCE recently upgraded transmission lines in the eastern desert area increasing its ability to integrate and deliver more renewable energy across its service area.
In addition to what SCE is doing to prepare for a hot summer, there are small actions customers can take to stay cool and help relieve stress on the grid:
- Close drapes and blinds to keep out direct sunlight during hot periods.
- Use electric fans instead of air conditioning when practical and make sure it is turning in a counterclockwise direction, which will help circulate the air downward.
- Consider pre-cooling your home earlier in the day so you can set your air conditioners to 78 degrees or higher in the late afternoon and evening.
- Operate energy-intensive appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, during early-morning and late-evening hours. Not using the stove, dishwasher or dryer on extremely hot days will help keep your home cooler by simply not introducing heat into an already warm environment.
- Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in many homes.
- Shut off lights when leaving a room.
With 5 million customer accounts, these small actions can add up and make a real difference in supporting the grid during times of high heat.