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Transmission lines impacted by wildfires, SMUD warns that power shortfalls are possible on extraordinarily hot weekend.

The Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD) is asking customers to limit their use of electricity during this afternoon’s high temperatures and throughout the weekend. With the Bootleg Fire in Oregon impacting critical transmission lines, energy imported from the Pacific Northwest has been reduced. With the heavy use of air conditioners, customers are using electricity at peak levels, requiring the use of all SMUD power sources. While SMUD will use every available measure to keep the lights on for our customers and community, power shortfalls are possible.

To help, SMUD is asking residential customers to raise thermostat settings on air conditioners to 80 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. In addition, residential customers can help by limiting the use of household appliances during the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. Limiting the use of both hot water and cold water will lower the demand for electricity needed for pumping, processing and delivery.

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Commercial and industrial customers are asked to reduce the use of lighting not essential for safety purposes in garages, hallways, lobbies, warehouses and displays. The minimized use of office equipment, supply and exhaust fans, circulating pumps, and maintenance and repair equipment will also allow the utility to lower demand for electricity.

SMUD is a member of the Balancing Authority of Northern California (BANC), an independent balancing authority within the western electricity power grid. As a member of BANC, SMUD is not required to participate in rotating outages when other California utilities face energy shortages due to financial issues or failure to meet their obligation to provide reserve power. SMUD continues to support the statewide electricity grid in the event of a true electrical emergency.

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