Power Outages: The New Normal in California
On Wednesday, October 9, 2019, PG&E turned off power for over 800,000 Northern California customers, many of whom remained without power for 3 days. In light of increased wildfire risks, California’s major electric utilities (including PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E) are now asking their customers to be prepared for planned outages that could last for days at a time. Under dry, high-wind weather conditions, these utilities are turning to Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events as a means of mitigating these fire risks. During these PSPS events, the utility company will de-energize the transmission lines in high-fire threat regions, impacting all of the electricity customers served by those transmission lines. The prospect of continued PSPS events are leaving communities wondering how they can manage through outages that could last for days at a time.