PWP officials call for energy conservation as temperatures soar
By André Coleman 08/16/2012
With record high temperatures expected until Saturday, Pasadena Water and Power Department officials are urging customers to conserve energy to help reduce strain on the city’s electrical grid.
“We need our customers to help conserve energy when and where possible,” said PWP General Manager Phyllis Currie in a prepared statement.
The system has been under constant strain since temperatures soared to record highs 15 days ago. Hot weather is expected to break by Saturday, with temperatures falling into the high 80s, according to weather.com.
July was the hottest month on record since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, according to the Los Angeles Times, which also reported that 60 percent of the country is in a drought, while much of the country faces threat of wildfires.
Pasadena Fire Department personnel have increased patrols in the foothills area.
“[There] is definitely a concern for fires, and not just for property, but for the firefighters who would have to wear all that gear and carry equipment to fight any blazes,” Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said Monday.
According to a statement released by the city, PWP is asking customers to set their air conditioner’s thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, close blinds and drapes to help block out heat and turn off lights and computers when not in use.
Power outages began to hit Highland Park on Sunday as temperatures neared 100 degrees, but so far PWP has been able to withstand the strain caused by the use of more fans and air conditioners.
The California Independent Operating System was expected to issue a flex alert on Tuesday, calling for increased power conservation.
The Pasadena Police Department said Monday there have been no heat-related deaths so far this summer.