Preparing for Summer Power Outages
To keep customers safe, Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) may turn off power when wildfire risk is high as part of an Enhanced Powerline Safety Settings (EPSS)?or Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). Power lines equipped with EPSS in high fire risk areas will be shut off within one-tenth of a second if an object strikes a power line or a fault occurs during fire season – generally May to November. With roughly half of Saratoga at risk for wildfire, many of the powerlines in Saratoga are EPSS enabled. An EPSS outage can be triggered by a variety of things, such as a branch or animal hitting a powerline. Once power lines can be inspected for damage, power will be restored.
In addition to EPSS outages, PG&E may schedule a PSPS outages as a last resort to reduce potential for wildfire ignition. During a PSPS events, PG&E proactively turns power off when severe fire weather is forecasted, such as during a Red Flag warning or when humidity levels are low, high winds are expected, and vegetation has a low moisture content. If a PSPS is scheduled, PG&E will notify impacted customers up to two days in advance. Customers may experience extended outages during a PSPS event since PG&E will only restore power after the severe weather has passed.
Follow these tips to prepare for possible outages:
- Confirm your contact information is current on your PG&E bill to receive outage notifications and updates.
- Consider options for backup power, especially if you require power for medical purposes. Visit the ? PG&E website? for backup power information and resources, such as the PG&E Portable Battery Program or Generator and Battery Rebate Program.
- Apply for the ? Medical Baseline Program ? if you depend on power for medical needs for an additional allotment of energy at the lowest price on your current rate and additional notifications when outages occur.
- Register for ? Vulnerable Customer Status ? if your life or health would be at risk without access to electricity or gas.
If you are impacted by an outage, you can check the ?PG&E website ? to see when power is expected to be restored. You can also access support and resources by calling or texting 211 or visiting ?211.org.?