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Amid Statewide Heatwave, California’s Grid Operator Directs PG&E to Initiate Rotating Power Outages Tonight

08/15/2020

Outages Expected to Affect Approximately 220,000 Customers

Customers Encouraged to Conserve Electricity through Wednesday Night

PG&E Is Not Calling A Public Safety Power Shutoff

SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Based on current power usage forecasts, the state’s electric grid operator, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), has directed Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to conduct rotating power outages in the early to late evening Saturday.

Expected Impacts of Saturday Outages

The outages are expected to affect approximately 220,000 PG&E customers in portions of the Central Coast and Central Valley, including Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Joaquin counties. No customers should be impacted overnight.

PG&E’s Emergency Operations Center is activated. The team has already restored some customers who were part of the outages.

Reason for Rotating Outages

These outages are being called because the state’s energy supply is not enough to adequately meet anticipated demand during the statewide heatwave. Other power utilities in the state are being directed to conduct similar rotating outages.

These outages are not Public Safety Power Shutoffs, which are called during specific high fire threat conditions, and they are not related to any issues with PG&E’s equipment or its ability to deliver energy locally.

“This is a statewide issue that we are working together with CAISO and many stakeholders to address. We know how important it is to have access to reliable power during these times, and we are doing everything we can to limit the impacts. Our team is working diligently to keep these rotating outages as short as possible, so that there is no further impact to the grid. We appreciate our customers’ patience as we work to restore power to everyone this evening. We urge all of our customers to take immediate steps to reduce their power usage,” said Michael Lewis, Interim President of PG&E.

PG&E Tips to Save Energy and Reduce Usage

PG&E strongly encourages all customers to conserve energy through next Wednesday.

  • Raise the thermostat: Cool homes and use air conditioners more during morning hours. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when at home during the rest of the day, health permitting. Turn it up to 85 degrees or turn it off when not at home.
  • Use a ceiling fan: Turn on a ceiling fan when using the air conditioner, which will allow the thermostat to be raised about 4 degrees to save on cooling costs with no reduction in comfort. Turn off fans and lights when you leave the room.
  • Cover windows: Use shade coverings and awnings so the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool the home.
  • Avoid using the oven: Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside.
  • Limit the opening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes. The average refrigerator is opened 33 times a day.
  • Clean clothes and dishes early: Use large energy-consuming appliances like washing machines and dishwashers earlier in the day or late at night after 10:00 pm.

PG&E Tips to Stay Safe and Cool

  • Plan ahead: Check the weather forecast to prepare for hot days.
  • Keep an emergency contact list:Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
  • Have a buddy system: Check in on elderly or people with access and function needs.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water, even when you are not thirsty.
  • Stay cool: Take a cool shower or bath and wear lightweight, loose, light-colored clothing.
  • Stay safe: Stay out of direct sunlight and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news

MEDIA RELATIONS:
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Source: Pacific Gas and Electric Company

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