Community conservation efforts helped keep lights on
More conservation is needed through Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
The unprecedented heat wave would have led to a peak record and likely rotating outages Tuesday, if not for the conservation efforts of SMUD customers. SMUD issued multiple requests on Tuesday asking customers to conserve beginning at 4 p.m., and we are thankful to the community for doing just that.
At precisely 4 p.m., SMUD grid operators saw an immediate drop of approximately 40 megawatts. Without that drop beginning at 4 p.m. and increasing for several hours going forward, SMUD would have experienced an all-time record peak and potentially rotating outages. All told, SMUD customers conserved over 140 megawatts over peak hours. The city, county, state, commercial customers and community partners all contributed significantly to the conservation.
Today’s high temperatures will approach 110 degrees, and power supplies remain critically tight across the state. After six straight days of extreme heat, equipment is prone to stress and overheating. SMUD asks customers to limit their use of electricity from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. SMUD anticipates energy shortfalls in the late afternoon and evening hours and rotating outages are possible unless we all work together to reduce electric consumption.
The following are the top ways residential customers can conserve electricity and help avoid emergency rotating outages:
- Precool your home before 4 p.m. and then turn your thermostat up to at least 80 degrees.
- Do not run large appliances or equipment during peak hours.
- Turn off unnecessary lights.
- Charge personal electronic devices and electric vehicles before 4 p.m. or after 9 p.m.
Commercial and industrial customers are asked to reduce the use of lighting not essential for safety purposes in garages, hallways, lobbies, warehouses and displays. The minimized use of office equipment, supply and exhaust fans, circulating pumps, and maintenance and repair equipment will also lower the demand for electricity.
SMUD will exhaust every avenue before rotating outages are called. This includes procuring power on the open market, activating its voluntary Air Conditioning Load Management program and calling on commercial customers who have previously agreed to reduce consumption.
Should rotating outages become necessary, impacted customers will be given as much advanced notice as possible, and no customer will be out of power for more than approximately one hour. SMUD would rotate outages by sections until the emergency is over. No section will be repeated until all 39 sections have been cycled through. Customers can learn which section they are in at smud.org/RotatingOutage.