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SCE Crews Stand Ready for Late-August Heat Wave

A statewide Flex Alert urges customers to conserve to reduce demand on the power grid.
By Mary Ann Milbourn

UPDATED Aug. 29

With increased demand on the power grid during this week’s heat wave, the California Independent System Operator issued a statewide Flex Alert for Tuesday from 2 p.m.- 9 p.m.

Customers are urged to voluntarily conserve power particularly in the late afternoon when air conditioners are at peak use. This will reduce stress on the statewide electrical grid, and help stave off possible rotating power outages.

SCE continues to review all scheduled maintenance outages daily and is canceling those in excessive heat areas unless they are for critical repairs. 

“We understand how difficult it is for our customers to have outages during periods of excessive heat and we are trying to reschedule them where appropriate,” said Terry Ohanian, an SCE principal manager. “In some of the highest heat areas of our territory, we have been pre-emptively scheduling shorter duration work during the summer months. The outages that are proceeding where there is excessive heat should be completed by midafternoon before the worst heat of the day.”

Extended heat causes additional stress on the power grid. When there are outages, SCE crews are available to make repairs as quickly and safely as possible. The company also has ensured there are adequate stores of transformers, wire and other materials often needed for heat-related outages.

In addition to Tuesday’s statewide Flex Alert, SCE announced a Save Power Day from 2-6 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday for residential customers with smart thermostats who have enrolled in the program. Those customers may be notified by their smart thermostat service provider that their temperature will be remotely adjusted to pre-cool their home before the Save Power Day begins or increase the temperature to reduce energy use during the event.

Other ways to conserve include closing curtains and blinds to keep the afternoon heat out and giving your appliances the day off.

Safety is SCE’s top priority. If you see a downed power line, stay away and call SCE at 800-611-1911 or call 911.

Customers can report or inquire about outages at 800-611-1911 and get the latest information using the SCE outages app at sce.com/outages. They can also stay informed by visiting sce.com/staysafetwitter.com/sce and facebook.com/sce.

Here are some additional safety tips during a heat wave:

  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water regularly, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
  • Limit your exposure to the sun, if possible. If you must be outside, be sure to wear a hat, use sunscreen and dress in loose-fitting, lightweight and light-colored clothes that cover as much skin as possible.
  • Use a buddy system when working in extreme heat and remember to take frequent breaks. Try to avoid strenuous work during the hottest part of the day.
  • Check on elderly family, friends and neighbors who live alone or do not have air conditioning to make sure they’re safe.
  • Never leave children or pets in enclosed vehicles, even with the windows "cracked" or open.
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