Public Safety Power Shutoffs
What They Are,
What They Mean To You
Public Safety Power Shutoffs are a part of Pacific Gas & Electric’s Community Wildfire Safety Program. During summer, PG&E will de-energize electric lines that pass through high fire-threat areas. NV Energy has a similar program, though they call their outages Public Safety Outage Management (PSOM). These shutoffs will affect both distribution and transmission lines. The goal is to reduce the risk of fire during high-fire risk times such as high winds, low humidity levels and red flag warnings declared by the National Weather Service.
Why Does This Matter To You?
Although PSREC does not buy power from PG&E, it’s main transmission feed is from PG&E through the Feather River Canyon, where this feed transports power to PSREC members. Since PSREC relies on this transmission feed, these public safety power shutoffs will impact members. PSREC will strive to keep the impact of these shutoffs as minimal as possible to members.
A backup feed that comes to members from NV Energy is able to help support PSREC’s system. However, this back-up isn’t always available and could be de-energized for an NV Energy PSOM at the same time as a PG&E PSPS. When available during peak hours, it may not be enough, so rolling black-outs may need to be implemented. PSREC asks members to conserve when we are on our backup feed to prevent disruptions to service for all members.
It is likely that, in the event of PSPS and PSOM events, electric power will be out for one to a few days. Because these events will be triggered by PG&E and NV Energy’s assessment of weather conditions and fire risk, PSREC cannot reliably predict the timing or duration. Residents or businesses who can’t be without power should consider a professionally installed generator that meets local code requirements.
We will provide as much notice as possible to members when we are notified of shut off events that will affect our transmission feeds. PSREC will post information at www.psrec.coop, on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and via text message. To sign up for text messages, login to SmartHub and set your notification preferences.
Preparing ahead for power outages can help make the best of a bad situation. Equip your home with a power outage kit that includes a flashlight and extra batteries; a battery-powered radio with extra batteries; a telephone connected directly to the phone jack (cordless phones need electricity to operate); a one-week supply of drinking water and non-perishable food and a cooler for storing frequently used foods. Food spoils more quickly if the refrigerator door is opened. Keep these items on hand to make an outage more tolerable: a manual can opener; an alternative cooking source; and a deck of cards, board games and a book.
If someone in your home depends on electric-powered, life-sustaining equipment, make a plan for backup power.
If you are going to install a generator and connect it to your home’s electrical system, please make sure it is done to code using an automated system or a manual double-pole, double-throw switch that separates your house from the grid. Failure to do so could cause injury or fire, leading to potentially massive liability on your part and disconnection from the grid, if discovered. For more information on a double-pole, double-throw switch, please talk to a licensed electrician.
Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane or charcoal-burning device inside a home or garage. Locate the unit away from doors, windows and vents to prevent exposure to carbon monoxide.
Please install surge protectors on any sensitive electronics and appliances. Be sure to buy surge protectors that have a warranty for your connected load.
For more information on how to prepare for an outage and what to do during an outage, please visit our Outage Tips page.