LADWP urges customers to conserve power after outages during state’s worst heat wave in years

Local news

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power urged its 1.4 million customers to cut back on their electricity use during peak hours from 3 p.m to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday.

The utility made the request after nearly 4,000 of its customers across the San Fernando Valley lost service Friday, when California’s worst heat wave in years began.

The outages were not part of rolling blackouts prompted by statewide power shortages, according to LADWP. However, utility officials believe the heat overburdened local networks.

“It’s like running your car at 100 mph nonstop and not giving it a break,” spokesman Joe Ramallo told the Los Angeles Times. “You’re eventually going to have some problems that pop up, and in this case there will be failed equipment and transformers.”

LADWP generates its own electricity and has never imposed blackouts due to extra demand, the paper reported. The utility even sold 225 megawatts to the California Independent System Operator, Ramallo said.

The state is working to procure more energy from LADWP, Gov. Gavin Newsom said on Monday. He warned of more blackouts within the next 72 hours.

The California Independent System Operator has issued a statewide Flex Alert, asking the public to conserve power through Wednesday.

LADWP asked its customers to help reduce stress on the state and local grid by considering the following measures:

• Adjust thermostats to 78 degrees Fahrenheit during the hottest hours of the day
• Use appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers and vacuums early morning or during the evening
• Open windows and doors to allow air to circulate
• Close curtains or shades during warm hours
• Turn off lights and other equipment when not in use
• Unplug cellphone chargers, microwave ovens and other “energy vampires” when not in use
• If possible, order takeout to avoid using the stove

“LADWP crews have been working around the clock to restore small localized power outages caused by extreme heat and electricity demand,” the utility said in a statement. “Crews are working as quickly and safely as possible, and will work around the clock responding to outages.”

About 4,800 LADWP customers did not have power as of Sunday evening, with the most current outage largely affecting Leimert Park.

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