News Release


DATE: January 17, 2001

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108



SAN DIEGO - In an effort to alleviate California's ongoing Stage Three Power Alerts, the County of San Diego has turned off all non-essential lights and electrical machines in the County's more than 1,000 public buildings countywide.

The move comes at the request of Supervisor Dianne Jacob who last week, urged U.S. Energy Secretary Bill Richardson to intervene on behalf of California ratepayers and limit the price Western generators can charge for their wholesale power.

"The rolling blackouts would be an inconvenience to all San Diego residents," said Supervisor Jacob. "The County should, and must, lead conservation efforts in the region by limiting our electric use," Jacob said.

As a result, emergency generators are now operating at the following County locations:

  • North County Regional Center in Vista
  • East Mesa Detention Facility
  • Juvenile Hall
  • Regional Crime Lab
  • South Bay Regional Center
  • The Hall of Justice

ln addition, building maintenance supervisors have been ordered to monitor electricity usage and order cuts when necessary.

Jacob said that while she hoped the County's conservation efforts would sustain energy supplies to the state's power exchange, it would take a more drastic measure from the Governor to get the attention of generators.

"California's electric market will remain volatile as long as state and federal regulatory agencies ignore the profiteering of the companies making our power," Jacob said. "What's needed now is an emergency order," Jacob said.

"California ratepayers didn't bring this on," she added, "The state did."