Southern California Edison (SCE) reached a new year-to-date peak power demand of 22,534 megawatts (enough to power about 14 million average Southern California homes at a point in time) last week. With the high heat expected to continue sporadically over the next few weeks, SCE is offering customers solutions to combat high electric bills. “We’re well aware of the higher-than-normal bills our customers may face after an especially hot month, when they’ve been using their air conditioning more than usual,” said Seth Kiner, SCE’s vice president of customer programs. “We want people to know that there are tools and incentives that can help them keep track of their energy spending, as well as payment solutions for those that may need assistance.” For example, more than 333,000 SCE customers have signed up for the Budget Assistant tool, which alerts them when they approach their set monthly spending goal. The My Account feature on SCE.com can also help customers monitor their energy usage, view their current bill and projected next month’s bill. Save Power Days reward customers with up to $100 a year in bill credits for conserving energy from 2-6 p.m. SCE customers may also make payment arrangements and/or see if they qualify for financial assistance programs. More details are available at www.sce.com/highbillhelper. Customers who don’t have air conditioning or don’t want to use it can also escape to cool centers, which offer respite from the heat. A call to 211 can help locate nearby locations. SCE recommends these easy ways to save:
- Set thermostats no lower than 78 degrees.
- Use electric fans instead of air conditioning when practical.
- Turn off unused appliances and equipment, and shut off lights when leaving a room.
- Close drapes and blinds to keep out direct sunlight.
- Avoid using humidifiers at the same time an air conditioner is running.
- Operate swimming pool pumps and energy-intensive appliances, such as dishwashers, washing machines and dryers, during early morning and evening hours.
- Limit the opening and reopening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes.