SDG&E urges customers to conserve power this summer

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San Diego Gas and Electric

neighborhoods all night in the midst of a heatwave

SAN DIEGO — Utility officials Tuesday said they will have enough power supply for the San Diego region during the warm summer months, but customers might be called on to conserve during especially hot weather, or if a power plant or transmission line fails.

Officials with San Diego Gas & Electric, the California Independent System Operator Corp. and the California Energy Commission offered their annual summer projection of energy supply and demand.

“The ISO’s recent assessment of summer conditions show we have adequate electricity resources to meet California’s needs this summer, even with the severe drought and high demand expected over this warm summer,” said Steve Berberich, ISO’s president and CEO.

“The ISO is committed to a reliable grid, and we will keep a close watch on the system, especially in Southern California where fires, high demand and transmission congestion can present challenges,” he said.

Drew Bohan of the California Energy Commission noted that the past few summers in the state have been relatively mild, reducing the strain on energy supplies. He and other officials said customers will need to be ready to conserve in case “flex alerts” are declared.

“As the weather continues to warm, energy demand increases due to more air conditioning use,” said Steven Davis, SDG&E’s president and chief operating officer. “Despite having adequate electric resources to meet that demand, conditions may change anytime due to unexpected situations that may require our customers to conserve.”’

SDG&E said that it has built new infrastructure and improved existing assets to increase the local electrical grid’s reliability.

The utility reminded customers to set thermostats for summer air conditioning to 78 degrees, and seal and insulate their homes.

Customers can also conserve energy by using smart strips or unplugging items when not in use, replacing regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LEDs, using motion sensors on outdoor lighting to save up to 50 percent in lighting costs, lowering water temperature, washing clothes with cold water, and replacing a single-speed pool pump to a variable-speed device.

Energy-saving tips are available online at sdge.com/save-money or by calling 800-411-7343.