Opinion: The heat wave nearly broke our power grid and some of our readers may have turned off their air conditioners unnecessarily.
“We do as much as possible,” said Eric Ting, who owns a home in a middle-class neighborhood of Santa Barbara, Calif., that was hit hard by the drought. “We would have canceled out everything for ourselves and our families rather than for the whole community.
“If we could have,” Ting said, it would have been a simple matter to use the energy generated by one of the neighbors’ solar arrays to run the air conditioner in her home.
But that, he said, would require a major political shift to the way we handle energy, as well as a lot more cooperation from the utility.
“So much of the grid is in the hands of individuals rather than corporations, so it’s up to the individual users to make sure their usage is controlled,” Ting said.
“We’re just so used to the way it’s been in the past. That’s why we rely on computers and airconditioning when we’re comfortable. We have to adapt.”
Last month in San Diego, there was record-breaking heat across the region, and many residents said they turned the heat up.
But one man who said he has lived through wildfires in his home told The Times that he was “100 percent against air conditioning, heat, or anything.” In his house, he said, heat vents were covered up in plastic, with the fan mounted on the wall above the vents.
“I think it’s a great idea,” said the man, who wished to remain anonymous. “But I don’t think it’s practical except for the very fortunate few who have air conditioning.”