Avista: No planned blackouts for Thursday, customer conservation helping

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SPOKANE, Wash. — Avista does not plan to conduct rolling blackouts on Thursday, as ongoing electricity conservation by customers and grid modifications have alleviated some of the strain on the utility’s electric system. 

The local power company conducted hours of rolling blackouts over the past few days as temperatures held in the triple digits. The consistent use of air conditioning and other electrical devices by customers across the city put a strain on Avista’s system and the company said its equipment could not keep up. 

The protective outages affected thousands of customers, primarily on Monday, but into Tuesday and Wednesday, as well. 

In a release sent Thursday morning, Avista said customer conservation has been a key component in reducing the need for focused, protective outages. 

“We are grateful to our customers for their partnership in conserving energy this week as we all manage through the record-breaking heat wave. This is making a real, impactful difference,” said Avista President and CEO Dennis Vermilion. “We continue to monitor the system so we can provide reliable energy for all, and we appreciate the ongoing efforts to use electricity efficiently. We are also grateful to our customers who experienced outages for their patience and understanding. We know that these outages were challenging and frustrating, and we commit to improving into the future.” 

Increased temperatures are expected again through the weekend and Avista has asked customers to continue conserving electricity during peak hours, which are 1 to 8 p.m. 

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READ: ‘It’s got to get better’: Local businesses close during heatwave, miss first full day of reopening