LADWP power usage hits 2015 high — here's how to save power and stay cool

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Los Angeles Department of Water and Power registered its highest power demand of the year on Tuesday afternoon, according to an LADWP press release.

The peak usage was Tuesday afternoon at 4:10 p.m., with Angelenos dealing with what the DWP calls "extreme temperatures" this week. It's the highest peak of the year, but falls short of the all-time peak from September of last year.

Still, officials don't think you'll have any major issues with power outages.

"We do have all our resources available. We don't anticipate any problems, providing that, at this time," the LADWP's Jay Puklavetz tells KPCC. He did say there could be some isolated problems if people don't conserve enough.

LADWP encouraged users to save power between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m., when power demand is the highest. Some of LADWP's tips:

  • Set your thermostat to 78 degrees during the hottest hours of the day

"The main thing is, we want people to be comfortable. If they're not home, there's no reason to run your air conditioner at 74 or 60 degrees," Puklavetz said, adding that it only takes 5 or 10 minutes to cool the house off when you get home. If you're running air conditioning during the day, Puklavetz said to run your AC at 78 degrees.

  • Limit your use of appliances like washing machines, dishwashers, vacuum cleaners and other heavy appliances until the evening

"Not only do they use electricity, but they generate additional heat in the home — therefore your air conditioner has to work longer," Puklavetz said. He also discouraged cooking with an oven, encouraging people to cook outside on a barbecue on hot days like we're experiencing this week.

  • Close your drapes/shades/blinds during the day to protect from the heat of direct sunlight
  • Open windows and doors to clear out heat and allow cooler air to circulate

"If you do live along the coast and it does cool off in the morning, go ahead and open up and let some of that cool air in," Puklavetz said.

  • Turn off lights and other equipment when they're not being used

"If it can wait, let it wait," Puklavetz said.

  • Unplug so-called "energy vampires," including cell phone chargers, DVD players, microwaves and other appliances that use power even while turned off or in sleep mode

The LADWP notes that the average power use in L.A. during the summer is 4,700 megawatts, but it hit 5,926 megawatts Tuesday afternoon and was projected to hit 6,200 megawatts Wednesday. Late August and September usually has higher power use than earlier in the summer, according to LADWP.

With contributions from Mike Roe and Kyle Garcia

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