Living in the San Gabriel Valley means we share the responsibility of caring for the ecosystems and people who reside here and call the SGV home. With each summer, evidence of changes in our environment from an increase in heat advisories to sudden lighting and thunderstorms remind us that climate change impacts us all. These changes demand of us to take on best practices to prepare for power outages, save energy, and prevent wildfires that can exacerbate challenging conditions.
Below are a few summer practices that can keep you and your loved ones safe during extreme heat days, how to benefit from eligible assistance programs to save on your electric bill and wildfire prevention tips.
Practices for Extreme Heat Advisories & Power Outages:
Keep safe during a Heat Advisory: Finding relief from the Summer heat is harder for multi-family homes and elders who may live alone, especially if you know that an AC unit system is not readily accessible. Always do your best to check in with your neighbors during heat advisory alerts.
Do your best to avoid direct sun exposure or physical activity during the heat advisories as this can lead to heat strokes, heat exhaustion or dehydration.
Power Shutoffs: During heat advisories, power outages are possible. These can be sudden due to a high use of energy across the region. Alternatively, a planned power shutoff called Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) can be used as a way to mitigate wildfires and public safety risks.
If you or someone in your home relies on electricity for a medical condition, it is critical to have a backup power source in case of an unplanned power outage. Additionally, you may be eligible for SoCal Edison’s (SCE) Medical Baseline program. Learn about the program and how to apply at sce.com/medicalbaseline
Emergency Preparedness: Create an emergency supply kit with a set of batteries, portable power source and battery-powered radio. Ensure you can easily locate and access your supply kit in case of unplanned power outages.
Dry vegetation, high winds, low humidity and extreme heat create the conditions for possible wildfires. As we gather with friends and family during the Summer months, it is important to practice safety and be aware of a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS).
- Sign up to receive alerts of a possible PSPS
- Notify SCE if you depend on electrically-powered equipment.
- Learn if you qualify for a FREE battery backup program if your home relies on electrically-powered equipment for a medical condition.
- Find assistance during an emergency: call 2-1-1, or text “PSPS” to 211211.
- Have a portable power or portable generator
PSPS are used as a last resort to protect against the threat of a wildfire. SCE considers many factors and monitors the weather conditions in the decision of a PSPS.
Save on Energy Costs:
What is Time-of-Use (TOU)?: You may have seen the billboards with Time of Use messaging around your neighborhood or charges on your electric bill. If you’re often confused as to what this means for you and your home, you’re definitely not alone.
TOU rate plans are based on when and how much energy you use. TOU rates are lower during the day, when SCE can tap into less expensive renewable energy sources like solar and wind. These are considered ”off-peak” hours and rates are usually lower. Using energy during “on-peak” hours, usually between 4:00PM - 9:00PM, are associated with higher rates.
Best practices to avoid high TOU rates on your electric bill can look like waiting to do laundry or shutting off the TV and visiting a local park between “on-peak hours.”
Assistance Programs: Find out if you're eligible
CARE/FERA Discount Program: If you receive government- assistance benefits like CalFresh or Medi-Cal, you may be able to enroll in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)/ Family Electric Care Assistance (FERA) program and reduce your energy bills by about 30%.
Additionally, ActiveSGV is proud to be a part of the Bassett and Avocado Heights Advanced Energy Community. Our program, Community Solar, offers 20% discounts to eligible customers in Bassett, Avocado Heights, and surrounding areas. This program is available to homeowners and renters. No installation is necessary. Discount can be combined with the CARE/FERA program.
Contact us to learn more at: https://advancedenergycommunity.org/enroll-now/community-solar/