Avista asks customers to conserve energy during heatwave

Photo by Dan LeFebvre on Unsplash

SPOKANE, Wash. — Record temperatures have people across the Inland Northwest blasting their air conditioning, but Avista says it is putting a strain on its electric system. 

In an email sent Monday, Avista asked customers to conserve electricity from 1 to 8 p.m. each day through July 1. This, of course, is when peak temperatures are expected. 

Spokane is expected to hit an all-time high on Tuesday, with 108 degrees forecasted. 

“We have prepared for this, managing our system to shift energy load to help with increased electricity use in certain areas,” the email said. “With the strain on the electric grid, the additional step of our customers using less electricity is a key part of maintaining reliability of service and minimizing the opportunity for power outages.” 

An outage impacting 5,000 customers in North Spokane was reported just around the time the email was sent. 

Alongside their ask, Avista sent a list of steps people can take to help reduce their energy usage, including: 

  • Reducing the use of air conditioning and other large electrical appliances 
  • If using air conditioning, increase the setting on the thermostat a few degrees and set it as high as you can while still maintaining comfort
  • Reduce the use of heat producing appliances such as dishwashers, ovens, ranges and dryers
  • Keep drapes and blinds closed during the day to block out heat from the sun
  • Use an outdoor BBQ instead of cooking on the range
  • Use small electric appliances or a microwave for cooking instead of your stove or oven.
  • Use a box fan to cool when possible
  • Remember that room air conditioners are generally least efficient if they have to cool more than one room at a time
  • Replace air conditioning filters frequently and make sure central air conditioning units are clear of debris

Those needing support can call 211, or visit www.wa211.org or www.211.idaho.gov

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