LADWP Warns of Possible Outages

The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power is urging customers to be vigilant in reducing energy use during the anticipated heat wave this weekend.

“During times of extreme heat, we strongly encourage customers to conserve electricity as long as it does not jeopardize their health,” said General Manager Marcie Edwards in a press release. “Doing simple things such as turning up your thermostat to 78 degrees and turning off your lights will save electricity use and reduce the risk of outages.”

The likelihood of a power outage during heat waves this summer is heightened because of the leak that occurred at the SoCal Gas Aliso Canyon Natural Gas Storage Facility. LADWP depends upon this facility to maintain power reliability when energy use spikes during hot weather.

Natural gas is used not only in homes and businesses, but as a primary fuel for gas-fired electric power plants. Aliso Canyon is the only gas storage facility that can immediately respond to rapid changes in gas supply for 17 gas-fired generating plants, including four plants operated by LADWP in the Los Angeles basin.

At a Pacific Palisades Community Council meeting in January, DWP officials warned that the existing electrical infrastructure in the Palisades cannot support the town’s increased energy demand, which is why outages here happen more often and last longer–and are expected to increase.

In response to this situation, the DWP said it would install two 65 ft. pole-top distributing (PTD) stations in the western part of town in March, as a temporary solution until a second distributing substation is built.

However, some residents objected to the proposed locations, so Councilman Mike Bonin held a town hall meeting in March. Two new pole-top locations were announced and construction was scheduled to start in June.

Steps to conserve energy:

  1. Adjust thermostat to 78 or higher.
  2. Turn off unnecessary lights.
  3. Adjust water heater down to 120 degrees.
  4. Use major appliances late in the evening or early in the morning.
  5. Turn off pool pumps.
  6. Check out rebates on efficient heating and air conditioning systems.


Prepare for a Power Outage:

  1. Store flashlights and batteries in easy-to-reach places around the home.
  2. Keep a battery-operated radio available for updates.
  3. Ventilate your home in the evening by opening doors and windows.
  4. Have a phone charger in the car.
  5. Keep non-perishable food handy.
  6. Use a cooler to transfer food, using whatever ice you have.
  7. If your household uses medical equipment, consider purchasing a gasoline-powered backup generator.
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