A $50,000 electric bill? The cost of cooling L.A.’s biggest houses in a heat wave?
After seven months of drought, Los Angeles was braced for a second-degree heat and record high temperature in a dry year, but a little early.
The average temperature in SoCal hit 85.8 degrees a day — 5 degrees hotter than last year’s record. Downtown had reached 85 degrees, shattering the old mark of 80 degrees set in July 1995.
“I am going to tell you that I was not ready for how hot it was,” said the owner’s guide, who asked to be identified only as Mike.
“I knew it was going to be hot, but I didn’t think it would be like this.”
Mike was at the helm of one of the city’s largest houses — one with the largest indoor swimming pool in the country — when the weather hit.
L.A.’s hottest air of 2018
Citywide: Average temperature in SoCal hit 85.8 degrees a day, 5 degrees hotter than last year’s record
In all, 13 people died from heat in Southern California, and the statewide death toll topped 100.
The heat wave is now considered one of the biggest blizzards of the year in the U.S. and has sent officials scrambling for new ways to cool homes and office buildings, including placing cooling towers under houses and sprinkling water on top of roofs.
It also raises questions about whether the city should have spent thousands of dollars on a water heater, such as a $40,000 unit that heated the pool and a $500,000 system that could have put out the chill in the air in the pool’s locker room.
City leaders have said the water heater was needed only to cool a building in an extreme emergency.
The heat wave raised some eyebrows, but the new rules being considered by the City Council are considered a huge advance in the struggle to cool buildings efficiently.
City leaders said the system now in use in Los Angeles might be the first public cloud-cooling system, or a “fancy” cooling tower