Avista expects reduced number of outages Wednesday in Spokane and Lewiston Customer conservation and ongoing system modifications reduce strain on electric grid
SPOKANE, Wash. – June 30, 2021: The strain on Avista’s electric system in Spokane, Wash. and Lewiston, Idaho has been reduced since Monday due to ongoing grid modifications, shifting of electric load and customer conservation of electricity despite continued record-breaking heat and all-time high electricity usage. Given this, the number of customers in the greater Spokane area and Lewiston expected to be impacted by focused, protective outages on Wednesday is approximately 5,800, down from 22,000 expected on Tuesday. These outages continue to be a protective measure intended to minimize broader customer impact and prevent extensive damage to the system that could result in prolonged outages. Avista continues to have adequate energy supply available to serve customers.
Those customers impacted by outages on Wednesday between noon and 8 p.m. will be notified proactively by Avista sometime Wednesday morning, prior to the outage. These notifications have begun. Outages are planned to be approximately one hour, while some actual times may vary from this. Some customers may experience more than one outage with no less than one hour in between outages. Information about how to prepare for outages can be found at myavista.com/outage.
The areas where outages are planned include:
• North Spokane near Fairwood and Five Mile
• Northeast Spokane
• Lewiston Orchards
A map that identifies areas where the outages are planned, as well as areas that Avista is actively monitoring for potential outages, has been posted on myavista.com/conserve. The areas labeled “planned” are those where customers could expect to be notified of an outage. The areas labeled “monitoring” are not planned outages at this time.
“We understand the significant challenges our customers have experienced this week, and we realize that our actions have created frustration for many of them,” said Dennis Vermillion, Avista president and CEO. “We remain focused on fulfilling our commitment to keeping outages as close to one hour as possible and managing our system to reduce the burden on our customers. We take our role as energy provider seriously, and we appreciate the patience and ongoing partnership of our customers as we continue to move through the heat wave,” Vermillion said.
How customers can help
Avista continues to encourage customers to conserve electricity through Friday, July 2, from 1 to 8 p.m. each day. Additionally, customers can proactively cool their homes overnight and outside of the hours of 1 to 8 p.m. to enhance comfort during those peak hours.
Reducing the use of air conditioning and other large electrical appliances can have a significant impact on electric usage. If using air conditioning, customers can increase the setting on the thermostat to 78 degrees or set it as high as they can while still maintaining comfort. Programmable thermostats can also be used to adjust temperature settings several times per day on a preset schedule.
Other conservation measures Avista encourages customers to consider include:
• Reduce the use of heat producing appliances such as dishwashers, ovens, ranges and dryers
• Keep drapes and blinds closed during the day to block out heat from the sun
• Use an outdoor BBQ instead of cooking on the range
• Use small electric appliances or a microwave for cooking instead of your stove or oven
• Use a box fan to cool when possible
• Remember that room air conditioners are generally least efficient if they have to cool more than one room at a time
• Replace air conditioning filters frequently and make sure central air conditioning units are clear of debris
Customers can view a complete list of summer weather and energy conservation tips and information at myavista.com.
Customer resources and support
Avista understands that the extreme heat may present challenges for our customers, and we want all of our customers to stay safe and healthy. Customers who need support during this time are encouraged to call 211, or visit www.wa211.org or www.211.idaho.gov.
About Avista Utilities
Avista Utilities is involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy. We provide energy services and electricity to 400,000 customers and natural gas to 367,000 customers in a service territory that covers 30,000 square miles in eastern Washington, northern Idaho and parts of southern and eastern Oregon, with a population of 1.6 million. Avista Utilities is an operating division of Avista Corp. (NYSE: AVA). For more information, please visit www.myavista.com.
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