In response to an extreme heat wave in July that caused massive power outages, the Los Angeles City Council directed the Department of Water & Power Tuesday to provide a list of infrastructure upgrades underway, a timeline for the upgrades, and a review of its communications protocols.
The heat wave began on July 6 and created record-breaking demand for energy usage, resulting in power outages that peaked at over 46,000 customers by 1 a.m. on July 7, or about 3 percent of LADWP’s 1.5 million residential customers.
“I want to be sure our own power agency is not caught flat footed like we were during the summer of 2018,” said Councilman Mitch O’Farrell, who co-introduced the motion seeking the information from the LADWP along with Councilman David Ryu.
“We had a real deficit in a few areas, and our rate payers need to have a greater understanding of where we can expect these outages in the future, as well as what resources are needed in the future to help mitigate issues the next time we have a severe weather event.”
The LADWP reported that peak energy demand was the highest for a July day during the outages and one of the highest on any day in the city’s history.
“What happened during the heat wave of early July was unacceptable — not only a widespread loss of power, but a response that was inadequate and poorly communicated,” Ryu said. “I’m happy to see LADWP take steps to improve this, but we need to ensure the progress continues.”