San Francisco / Walnut Creek Heat Wave June 2011

I gave in this week. I turned on the air conditioner at my apartment.

PG&E Smart Meter energy consumption spike June 2011

Not only did I use my A/C, I actually left it on ‘economy mode’ while I was at work. This resulted in the dramatic spike in the graph above, where my energy consumption shot up to about 13 kilo-Watt-hours, compared to my average of ~3 KwH in May and ~4 kWH in the rest of June.

Was it really all that hot? Weather underground says that it got up to 101 degrees in those two days at the nearby BART station. And if you’ve ever been to my apartment, you know that when you walk up to my door the temperature rises palpably with each step. I can honestly estimate it must have been 110 degrees F in my living room.

Temperature graph for this week in Walnut Creek, CA

I have colleagues in India (Kalkaji, in New Delhi), and this week their temperatures were quite comparable to this. I definitely will not jump on this rare opportunity to whine safely, though, lest they point out that their temperatures, while similar to ours this week, were actually abnormally cool compared to their own averages and norms. I wouldn’t hear the end of it for 51 weeks.

I’ll try to keep the broader perspective, but I’m just not very good with heat. And I’m simultaneously stubborn with turning on the air conditioner. Fortunately for me, the temperature dropped back down by about 20 degrees today, and I am comfortable with the windows open and a supply of water, Gatorade, and ice cream.



  1. Aman

    To be clear, the average shown on the graph (the yellow line) is of course the average for June INCLUDING the heatwave days, not the “rest of” June EXCLUDING the 21st and 22nd. But unless PG&E lets me download my data, these casually eyeballed approximations will have to do.

    Also, by the way, I believe I left my air conditioner on while at work on Wednesday only. The day before I used the A/C only in the evening. And on both nights the A/C was off. So I would have expected the bar for Wednesday to be much taller than the bar for Tuesday.

  2. Aman

    I tried to explore my last comment in more detail but failed.

    “Due to planned maintenance, My Account will be temporarily unavailable on Thursday, June 23, 2011, from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. We appreciate your patience and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

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