With Hot Weather Ahead, PG&E Reminds Customers to Stay Safe

By Matt Nauman

Temperatures will top 100 degrees in many parts of PG&E’s service area on Friday and Saturday (June 7-8). The company is reminding its customers to how to stay cool and save energy during the year’s first heat wave. (See tips below.)

“It looks like the interior is going to bake,” said Ted Schlaepfer, PG&E’s senior meteorologist.

The hottest temperatures will be in the North Valley, including Marysville and Redding, Schlaepfer said. Thermometers could reach 105 degrees on Friday and as high as 110 degrees on Saturday.

The rest of the Central Valley, from Sacramento down to Bakersfield, could see highs in the low 100s on Friday and 105 on Saturday.

There’s good news, though, according to Schlaepfer.

“It’s going to be quick — in and out,” he said.

He expects temperatures will drop by 10 to 20 degrees on Sunday, with only the North Valley still seeing triple-digit highs.

And, places like the Central Coast should see low clouds and more temperate conditions over the weekend.

PG&E’s Meteorology Department provides critical information ranging from storm- and heat-related outage forecasts to weather data that helps the company run its hydroelectric facilities and gas system. Its information is used by operators at Diablo Canyon Power Plant as well as at dozen of construction projects ongoing at any time.

In preparation for storms and periods of intense heat, PG&E makes sure it has adequate crews and on-call staffing and the proper materials in the right locations in case repairs need to be made.

PG&E’s offers these tips to keep your home or building cooler:

Set your air conditioner thermostat to 78 degrees or higher when you’re at home, health permitting, and 85 degrees when you’re away.

Setting your AC thermostat 5 degrees higher will save about 10 percent on cooling costs.

Shut windows and draw the shades to keep in pre-cooled air from the night and early morning.

Have your central cooling duct system checked for leaks. Up to 20 percent of cooled air can be lost through leaky or poorly insulated ducts.

Buy an Energy Star air conditioner if your air conditioner is ready to be replaced. It can reduce energy usage by up to 10 percent.

Avoid using an electric oven on hot days. Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave oven, or grill outside.

And PG&E provides these tips for powering electronics, lighting and appliances:

Swap out incandescent bulbs with more energy-efficient lighting choices. Energy Star-qualified lighting not only uses less energy, it also produces about 75 percent less heat than incandescent lighting, so cooling bills will be reduced, too.

Give your refrigerator breathing room: Clean the coils and don’t set the temperature too low. The refrigerator should be kept between 38 degrees and 42 degrees, and the freezer between 0 degrees and 5 degrees.

Clean the lint from the clothes dryer after every load. Run full loads and use the moisture-sensing setting. This will help save 5 percent on your electric bill.

Turn off equipment and appliances — such as lights, televisions, stereos, DVD players and computers — when you’re not using them.

Use appliances and charge electronic devices in the morning or after 7 p.m.

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