Power out? It’s probably intentional, says Avista

A North Spokane business is dark, as high use created demand for energy during a Spokane heatwave

SPOKANE, Wash – Thousands of people across Spokane experienced power outages on the hottest day of the year Monday and Avista said it was part of an effort to reduce the load on the electrical system.

As of Monday afternoon, people had lost power in north Spokane, west Spokane and the Eagle Ridge neighborhood.

RELATED HEADLINES: Nearly 6,000 Avista customers without power in North Spokane 

“Due to the extreme heat and significant increase in electric usage, some Avista customers are experiencing temporary unplanned power outages to alleviate the strain on the electric system,” Avista wrote on its website. “As a state and federally regulated utility, Avista is required to reduce electric load on the system when certain system thresholds are met. In certain areas, these thresholds have been met rather quickly, and to meet the requirement, power has been turned off temporarily. In most situations these outages will be about an hour.

We understand the inconvenience of these unplanned outages, particularly without advance notice and the hot temperatures. We are working to identify and communicate with those customers who may experience brief outages due to the heat in the future. Avista is monitoring and adjusting the system to meet the changing electricity demands and to serve our customers. Our top priority is providing reliable and safe energy service to our customers and avoiding any disruption in service for all of our customers.”

Avista sent out multiple news releases, urging people to conserve power as demand goes up. However, none of those releases overtly warned of outages. A news release sent Monday afternoon references Avista “proactively shifting electricity load to accommodate increased usage in certain areas.”