Heat wave: 6 tips to conserve energy (and stay cool)

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With triple digit numbers rolling out this week in Southern California, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power has issued six tips for conserving energy during peak hours from 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.  

Temperatures have already exceeded 100 degrees in the valley, prompting a high energy demand that averaged in the upper 5,000 megawatt range this week, LADWP noted in a release sent Thursday. The utility said its all-time high energy demand was 6,177 megawatts, recorded on Sep. 27, 2010. 

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Now LADWP is asking customers to take a few steps to cut down on electricity use during the heat wave. Here are some recommendations for staying cool, conserving energy and staying within your budget: 

  1. Adjust thermostat to 78 degrees to reduce energy usage during the hottest hours of the day when air conditioning systems have to work hardest to cool.
  2. Limit the use of appliances during peak hours of the day- use washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and other heavy appliances during evening hours.
  3. Close draperies, shades or blinds during the heat of the day to reduce the extra heat from direct sunlight.
  4. Ventilate your home by opening windows and doors to clear out the heat and allow cooler air to circulate.
  5. Turn off lights and equipment when they are not in use.
  6. Unplug "energy vampires" like cell phone chargers, DVD players, microwave ovens and other appliances that use energy even when turned off or in sleep mode.

RELATED: Heat hacks - How to stay cool without air conditioning

And here is an extra bonus tip: Vanessa McGrady of Southern California Edison says to stuff your fridge with water bottles or bags of flour if you don’t have the food to fill it up. The more items inside the fridge, the less power it uses.

Looking for a nearby cooling center? Here's a list of cooling centers in Los Angeles County: 

Cooling Centers in Los Angeles County by scprweb

RELATED: Heat hacks 2 - How to stay cool without air conditioning (photos)

What are you doing to stay cool from the heat wave this weekend? Tweet us your responses using the hashtag #heatwave.

With contributions by Hayley Fox

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