Riverside, Calif. – As the National Weather Service predicts triple digit temperatures to continue throughout the week, Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) is encouraging its customers to conserve energy where and when they can to help ensure the stability of both the local and state power grids.
The hot and humid weather comes as thousands of students are returning to schools and colleges adding to overall energy demands in the city. “As more and more air conditioners are turned on in the classrooms, and dorms we see a big spike in energy needs during peak demand times (8 a.m. to 6 p.m.),” said RPU’s Interim General Manager Steve Badgett.
“When facing these increases, it becomes very important for our customers to take steps that will reduce their peak energy use and conserve energy overall,” Badgett said. “The combined efficiency efforts improve our energy delivery system’s reliability and help to avoid service disruptions.”
Some easy steps customers can take to reduce their energy use include: setting thermostats to 78 degrees or higher; keeping window blinds closed; cooling off with fans; turning off unneeded lighting, computers, and electronics; and waiting to use appliances like dish and clothes washers until the late evening or early morning hours.
Riverside residents can also beat the heat and reduce their energy consumption by going to local malls, pool facilities, or the city’s Cool Centers located at designated libraries, parks and community centers. A complete list of Riverside’s Cool Centers and their hours of operation can be found at ReadyRiverside.com or by contacting the city’s Call Center at 826-5311.
For the second year in a row, a number of Riverside businesses including: Bourns Inc., Flexsteel Industries, the Galleria at Tyler, GAR Labs, Riverside Auto Auction, ROHR Corp., Riverside Unified School District, Sherman Indian High School, State Comp Fund, Superform, Swiss Dairy, Toro Manufacturing, and the University of California Riverside have signed up to be “Power Partners” with RPU.
The utility's Power Partners have agreed in advance to reduce or offset their energy usage during peak demand times and when RPU or the state’s power grid operators foresee issues with providing enough energy to meet customer demands.
On August 29, when a strong storm front brought high winds, hail, and heavy rain to the city causing widespread power outages, RPU crews worked diligently to bring areas back on line so the utility did not have to ask any of its Power Partners to reduce energy loads.
“That event showed just how quickly our customers can be affected by an unexpected event,” said Badgett. “Of course it also showed what a great team we have in place that was able to respond and return services to our customers quickly and safely.”
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