Palm Desert residents could experience power outages if increased and extended use of air conditioners continue because of the heat, officials with Southern California Edison said Wednesday.
The wide-spread use of air conditioning is already placing a strain on the power grid, officials said.
Many customers have been using their air conditioners into the night, as temperatures in Southwest Riverside County soar, the desert and the mountains soar, officials said.
Temperatures in the Coachella Valley were expected to hit the mid-110s and remain so through the weekend.
Edison officals have postponed a planned outage scheduled for Friday that would have left some Palm Desert customers without power for eight hours. Another planned outage is scheduled for August 14th. Edison says the reason they schedule these planned outages is to improve the system and reduce the duration of power outages.
SoCal Edison officials advised customers to conserve power during the day and especially at night -- specifically by setting thermostats no lower than 78.
Officials also advised their customers to use more electric fans, limit the use of dishwashers and washing machines to early morning and evening hours and shut off lights when leaving a room.
Residents should also try to keep refrigerator doors closed as much as possible, since they are major energy users, officials said.
Swimming pool equipment should also not be operated during the hottest part of the day, officials said, and employers are asked to schedule their most energy intensive tasks for evening or early morning hours.