Avista acknowledges the challenges created by the unplanned outages that impacted its customers throughout the afternoon and evening Monday, June 28 as a result of the extreme temperatures and significantly increased usage, and the company has made plans for proactive and targeted protective outages to occur on Tuesday, June 29. Tuesday’s outages are a protective measure intended to minimize the customer impact, alleviate strain on the electric system and prevent extensive damage to the system that could result in prolonged outages.
“Our top priority is to provide reliable and safe energy for our customers, and we recognize Monday’s customer outages were a challenge for a number of reasons,” said Dennis Vermillion, Avista president and CEO. “While we plan for the summer weather, the electric system experienced a new peak demand, and the strain of the high temperatures impacted the system in a way that required us to proactively turn off power for some customers. This happened faster than anticipated,” Vermillion said. “Moving forward, we’re committed to reducing the length of outages and supporting our customers during this time with proactive information to manage through the protective outages that are expected this week. We appreciate their patience, understanding and ongoing partnership as we manage through the heat wave together.”
All customers who experienced outages on Monday due to the heat should be restored Monday night.
Targeted and protective outages Tuesday, June 29
Avista anticipates that many of those customers who experienced outages on Monday will experience targeted, protective outages on Tuesday, June 29. Planned, targeted and protective outages will be targeted during the hours of 1 and 8 p.m. and are expected to be about one hour in length. Some customers may experience more than one outage with no less than one hour in between outages. Customers can expect to receive a notification from Avista sometime Tuesday morning, prior to the outage. Information about how to prepare for outages should they occur can be found at myavista.com/outage.
How customers can help
Avista continues to encourage customers to conserve electricity through Friday, July 2, from 1 to 8 p.m. each day. Additionally, customers can proactively cool their homes overnight and outside of the hours of 1 to 8 p.m. to enhance comfort during those peak hours.
Reducing the use of air conditioning and other large electrical appliances can have a significant impact on electric usage. If using air conditioning, customers can increase the setting on the thermostat a few degrees (72 to 75 for example) and set it as high as they can while still maintaining comfort. Programmable thermostats can also be used to adjust temperature settings several times per day on a preset schedule.
Other conservation measures Avista encourages customers to consider include:
- 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
Customers can view a complete list of summer weather and energy conservation tips and information at myavista.com.
Customer resources and support
Avista understands that the extreme heat may present challenges for our customers, and we want all of our customers to stay safe and healthy. Customers who need support during this time are encouraged to call 211, or visit www.wa211.org or www.211.idaho.gov.