How to Prepare for the Energy Crisis and
What to Do When Rolling Blackouts Occur
A Guide for
the Residential and Business Communities of Calabasas:
Energy Tips for the
Energy Tips for the
Electricity is becoming
an increasingly important part of our daily lives. We have become
dependent on electricity to provide us with light and power to our
homes and offices. Without electricity we have become unable to
function at work or home. We expect it to be uninterrupted, run our
air conditioners and microwaves, and keep the televisions and
computers constantly going. As a result of all this, the current
supply of electricity in California is unable to keep up with the
consumers demand. Therefore this summer the City of Calabasas might
experience power outages (rolling blackouts). However, before this
happens there are things that everyone can do to help conserve energy
and precautions that can be taken to ensure that you are safe during a
What is a rolling blackout and what should you do when it happens?
A rolling blackout is a
controlled event that occurs when California’s Independent System
Operator calls for a Stage 3 electricity emergency. At this time the
utility company shuts off the power to an area, turns it back on, and
then shuts the power off in a different area. These power outages
usually last 30 to 90 minutes. This is an organized and planned outage
that typically occurs between the hours of 3 to 7 p.m. when demand for
electricity begins to exceed the local utility’s available supply.
When the blackout
Stay in the coolest
part of the house. If you are outside, stay in the shade.
Unless there is a real emergency, do not call 911.
Postpone any physically demanding activities for later, in the
cooler parts of the day.
Dress to stay cool---wear loose, lightweight, light colored
Stay well hydrated—drink plenty of water.
Avoid opening your refrigerator and freezer as much as possible.
Food inside should stay cold for hours if the door is left closed.
Drive carefully. Remember that traffic signals may be out in a
rolling blackout. Consider each intersection to be a four-way stop,
and drive defensively.
Family Members with Special Needs:
If a family member uses life support equipment that requires
electricity, buy a generator to use in case of a power outage.
Make sure you have a telephone that does not require power
Check with Southern California Edison to see is you qualify for
Edison’s Low-Income Energy Efficiency programs. This program assists
qualified SCE customers conserve energy, and reduce their electricity
costs. To find out if you qualify call Edison at 1-800-736-4777.
What types of devices
could be affected during a blackout and what are backup solutions?
Many devices can be affected during a blackout. The best thing to
do is to be prepared with backup
devices: The suggestions in ( ) indicate a backup device, which
everyone should be prepared with.
Household lights and
appliances (flashlights and battery operated appliances)
Garage door openers (on extremely hot days, park your car outside)
Some smoke detectors
Health-related equipment (buy a generator)
Cordless telephones (have a phone that does not require power)
Elevators and escalators (make it a point on extremely hot days to
take the stairs)
Energy Tips for Home:
Using Appliances Wisely
Do your laundry
efficiently by using the warm or cold water setting for washing your
clothes and always use cold water to rinse clothes.
Line dry clothes whenever you can.
When you need to use the dryer, run full loads, use the
moisture-sensing setting, and clean the clothes dryer lint trap after
Conserve energy by running your dishwasher only when it is fully
loaded, and turn off the dry cycle and air-dry dishes instead.
To help prevent electricity outages, avoid running your major
appliances between during afternoon peak demand periods, which is from
4 p.m. to 7 p.m., or anytime an electricity emergency is declared.
Turn off appliances, lights and equipment when not in use
Turn computers, printers and other peripherals off at the power
strip when they are not being used. Put them on energy-saver mode when
you’re using them so they will sleep when not used for 10-15 minutes.
Energy in Electronics
Many new TVs, VCRs, chargers, computer peripherals and other
electronics use electricity even when they are switched off. Although
these standby losses are only a few watts each, they add up to over 50
watts in a typical home that is consumed all the time. If possible
unplug electronic devices and charges that have a block shaped
transformer on the plug when they are not in use.
For computer scanners, printers and other devices that are plugged
into a power strip, simply switch off the power strip after shutting
down your computer.
Replace air conditioner
filters: Dirty filters restrict airflow and can cause the system to
run longer, increasing energy use. Replace or clean filters monthly
for maximum benefit.
Choose energy star products: replace incandescent light bulbs with
Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs, especially in high use
light fixtures. Compact fluorescent lights use 66-75% less energy than
incandescent lights of the same brightness.
Install low flow showerheads: If you do not already have them, low
flow showerheads and faucets can drastically cut your hot water
Good Energy Saving
Install a whole house
fan: A whole house fan is permanently installed in your attic and
draws cool air into your home through the windows and forces hot air
out through your attic vents. This should be used after sundown when
the outside temperature drops below 80 degrees and in the early
morning to pre-cool your house to help reduce air conditioning use.
High efficiency windows: If you are planning to replace your
windows, choose Energy Star windows which can reduce your heating and
cooling costs by up to 15 percent.
Choose Energy Star appliances and electronics: When buying new
appliances, choose energy start certified models. For example, a new
energy star refrigerator uses about 20% less energy than a standard
new refrigerator and 46% less than one made in 1980.
Reminders for the
Set your thermostat to
78*F during the summer
Set your thermostat at 85*F or more when you leave your home for
more than four hours
Keep your refrigerator temperature between 36 and 40 degrees F and
your freezer between 0 and 5 degrees F. A lower setting can increase
Use air conditioning wisely. Keep all your doors and windows shut
and avoid using a humidifier
Keep heat-producing appliances away from your thermostat. Heat
emitted by television sets, lamps, and other appliances will make your
cooling system work harder
Use exterior shading devices like awnings, bamboo screens and shade
Use your shades. Closing drapes and shades---especially on southern
windows---will help keep the sun out and your home cool.
Consider a solar water heating system for your swimming pool
Keep your spa or pool covered when not in use. Well-fitted pool and
spa covers help prevent heat loss. They also reduce water evaporation.
Consider a solar cover; it lies on the water’s surface and heats the
water from the sun.
Turn off lights whenever they are not needed. Also use automatic
Energy Tips for the Office
Turn off PCs, monitors,
printers, copiers, and lights every night and every weekend. If you
can’t turn off the whole computer, turn off the monitor and printer.
When purchasing PCs, monitors, printers, fax machines and copiers,
consider Energy Star models that power down after a user-specified
period of inactivity. If appropriate, use laptop computers—they
consumer 90% less energy than standard desktop computers.
If appropriate use ink-jet printers—they consume 90% less energy
than laser printers.
Implement paper-reducing strategies such as double-sided printing
and reusing of paper.
Use e-mail instead of sending memos or faxing documents.
Purchase appropriately sized copiers for your company’s needs.
Facts about lighting
light bulbs with compact fluorescent lights.
Consider removing excess fluorescent lights and installing
Turn off nonessential and decorative lighting, especially in
Use task lighting to directly illuminate work areas instead of area
Color code or mark light switches and circuit breakers that can be
turned off when not needed.
Replace incandescent and fluorescent exit signs with long-lasting,
low-energy LED exit signs.
Fast and Free Tips
Set your thermostat to
78 degrees or higher
Close window blinds to shade interior spaces from direct sunlight
Turn off lights in unoccupied rooms
For more information
about daily energy alerts, visit California ISO's alert page
Southern California Edison concerning energy market issues
by conserving whenever possible!