IID Warns Coachella Valley Residents to Conserve Energy, or Risk Blackouts

IID Warns Coachella Valley Residents to Conserve Energy, or Risk Blackouts

Taylor Martinez

PALM DESERT (CNS) – As a blistering heat wave continues to generate high electricity demand statewide, the Imperial Irrigation District Monday urged its customers to conserve power, warning that failure to do so could result in blackouts.

“During this time of intense heat that is affecting all of the state, we ask our customers to do their part to help our grid by conserving energy where possible,” IID Energy Manager Marilyn del Bosque Gilbert said this afternoon. “This will go a long way in helping the local grid and avoiding service interruptions.”

The district offered a series of tips for reducing energy consumption, including:

— turning off all unnecessary lights;

— setting thermostats at 78 degrees or higher when at home;

— using shades, blinds or drapes to block the sun from overheating the home;

— using floor or ceiling fans to cool off, and turning them off when leaving the room; and

— avoiding use of appliances like washers, dryers and dishwashers, pool pumps and some industrial equipment, between peak hours of 4 p.m. and 9 p.m.

Officials said that in the event that energy demand in IID’s service area surpasses available supply, some households may experience 15-minute blackouts. Additional information, including how many households could be affected, was not provided.

Executives with the California Independent System Operator — which controls roughly 80% of the state’s power grid through Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. and San Diego Gas & Electric — said statewide rolling blackouts affecting up to 3.3 million California homes could begin as early as 4 p.m. Monday.

IID is not a member of CAISO and is not obligated to follow its rotating outage orders, according to the utility, which provides water and electricity to the Imperial Valley and power to the eastern part of the Coachella Valley.

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