To avoid statewide blackouts or brownouts from an impending energy shortage brought on by the current heat wave, Southern California Edison and PG&E officials are asking their customers to cut back on electricity today. The shortage warning went into effect at noon and will continue until 6 p.m.

The Santa Barbara County Office of Emergency Management issued a statement earlier today that suggested area residents:

• Turn off all unnecessary lights, appliances, computers, monitors, and other electronic equipment.

• When possible, close blinds that get direct sun, set air conditioning thermostats to 78 degrees or higher, and use fans to cool the air.

• Avoid using your space heaters, dishwasher, laundry equipment, hair dryers, coffee makers, or other appliances during the peak hours of noon – 6 p.m.

• Avoid opening refrigerators or freezers more than necessary.

• Use a gas range or microwave for cooking instead of an electric range or electric oven.

Officials said more information on the shortage will be released as soon as it’s available.


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