Practical Tips to Help You Chill During the Heat Wave

Practical Tips to Help You Chill During the Heat Wave

With our region experiencing triple-digit heat and extreme fire danger, keep cool and safe during the heat wave by following these tips:

Cool Zones

More than a hundred facilities throughout our region - libraries, recreation centers and senior centers that have air conditioning – have been designated as Cool Zones. By taking advantage of the air conditioning available in these Cool Zones, residents can enjoy the cool environment while reducing their individual energy usage and lower their electric bill.

To find a Cool Zone near you, check out this map.

Energy Conservation

Due to the heat wave driving higher-than-normal electric demand, everyone can help reduce strain on the power grid by practicing the following energy- and money-saving tips.

  • Use a ceiling or portable fan instead of your air conditioner if possible
  • Run your AC early in the morning to pre-cool your home. Close blinds, shades or drapes to block out the sun's heat
  • Run major appliances, such as your washers and dryers, early in the morning or late at night
  • Unplug TV, cable, DVD or gaming devices when idle, or use a smart power strip to eliminate phantom power
  • Turn off pool pumps between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m.

If you are enrolled in our Reduce Your Use program and cut back on your energy use between 2-6 p.m. today,  you can earn a bill credit of $.75 per kilowatt hour saved or $1.25 credit per kilowatt hour saved with enabling technology, like a smart thermostat.

Preparing for Power Outages

Extreme heat and high winds could cause outages. If there is an outage, power will stay off until our crews can safely restore it. Please be prepared to activate your personal emergency plan. If you are not sure how to go about creating an emergency plan, visit

In the event of an outage:

  • Use a flashlight—instead of candles—for light, as candles can be fire hazards
  • If using a standby generator, follow these safety tips.
  • Turn off major appliances like dishwashers or televisions that were running when the power went out to prevent them from starting unexpectedly when power is restored
  • Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed to keep food fresh
  • Leave one light on so you know when power is restored

If you see a downed or broken power line, DON’T touch the person or equipment involved. The line may still be energized and dangerous. Call 911 and SDG&E at 1-800-411-7343.

Fire Safety

Along with the extreme heat, there is the potential of extreme fire danger – especially in the backcountry. Single-digit humidity, coupled with pockets of 30-40 miles per hour winds, means that if a fire ignites it could spread rapidly. Everyone is urged to do their part to avoid the following outdoor activities that could spark fires:

  • Mowing or trimming vegetation using power tools, because they can spark on a rock and start a  fire
  • Starting camp fires in forests
  • Pulling over a vehicle in brush (If necessary, pull over on paved roads)
  • Setting a piece of hot garden equipment in dry brush
  • Performing electrical work
  • Using outdoor equipment, such as blow torches, grinding and cutting tools
  • Outdoor grilling
  • Driving off-road vehicles
  • Shooting firearms
  • Burning plant cuttings