On Sunday, a tweet by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti that said to use less electricity and not run the air conditioning very high despite a record heat wave faced severe backlash from thousands of LA residents.
‘Time to turn off major appliances”
The tweet, sent just before high heat yesterday, was a flex alert, aiming to reduce power usage between 3-9 PM when power usage is normally higher.
“It’s almost 3 p.m.,” tweeted Mayor Garcetti. “Time to turn off major appliances, set the thermostat to 78 degrees (or use a fan instead), turn off excess lights and unplug any appliances you’re not using. We need every Californian to help conserve energy. Please do your part. #FlexAlert.”
It’s almost 3 p.m. Time to turn off major appliances, set the thermostat to 78 degrees (or use a fan instead), turn off excess lights and unplug any appliances you’re not using.
We need every Californian to help conserve energy. Please do your part. #FlexAlert
— MayorOfLA (@MayorOfLA) September 6, 2020
However, with temperatures in the LA area during the weekend reaching as high as 121 degrees Fahrenheit, many citizens were outraged at the Mayor telling them to use a fan or reduce the AC inside during a time when they needed it most.
“A lot of homes don’t have good AC,” explained Rodrigo Lopez, a HVAC contractor in Los Angeles, to the Globe. “Doors aren’t sealed, windows don’t work right. In fact, many homes and apartments in LA have gaps in the AC area due to replacements not fitting correctly. So most houses aren’t sealed right.”
“Just because you set it to 78 doesn’t mean it will be 78. Heat in the 110’s will erase a lot of that, and that’s what I saw this weekend.”
“I even fixed my parents this weekend. My dad, who’s from Mexico, told me, with the air conditioning on, that it felt like his old farms shed during the summer and that he never thought he would feel like this again.”
“For the Mayor to say this, well, it’s incredible. He isn’t reading the room and isn’t paying attention to the reality of the system. People need the AC going for relief, and sometimes the only way to get it to keep from getting too hot is to put it really high.”
High temperatures, rolling blackouts
Others, who have been among the tens of thousands without power due to the rolling blackouts, also reacted negatively to the Mayor’s remarks.
“The Mayor said to not use a lot of power in a tweet,” said LA apartment owner Shane Vich to the California Globe. “Not a problem, because me and my tenants don’t have any right now.”
“Seriously, what was he thinking by sending this? I know we need to reduce power to stop things like this from happening, but it’s hard to practice that when these rolling blackouts fail to roll away.”
“The tweet wasn’t informative. It was actually a little mean.”
Those close to public officials, such as Eric Trump, responded back with similar critical messages.
— Eric Trump (@EricTrump) September 7, 2020
LA city officials and electrical experts maintain that the advice was sound.
“That’s exactly what people should be doing,” noted electrical expert Dan Keller to the Globe. “To avoid blackouts, you need to be careful in using electricity around those times. Especially with a power grid like California’s.”
“But I can admit that the timing and the way he said it was a little off base.”
“I’m not sure that tone deaf is the right phrase for it, but it definitely isn’t sound, not with so many people in the heat like this.”
Mayor Garcetti has not yet directly responded to any criticism of the tweet despite a growing number of negative responds going into Monday.
How is that green energy #Democrat idea working out? Your party has been in control of #California & now we don't have electricity. Stop turning this state into a 3rd world country. #LosAngeles #FireTheMayor
— ROBERT CVENGROS (@RCvengros) September 7, 2020