Utility Public Safety Power Shutoff Plans (De-Energization)
Utilities may temporarily turn off power to specific areas to reduce the risk of fires caused by electric infrastructure. This action is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) or “de-energization.”
- Public Meeting on Utility Safety Practices
- Public Briefings on Utility Readiness for 2021 Public Safety Power Shutoffs
- Media Advisory
- Monday, August 2, 2021, 2 - 5 p.m.: San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
- Tuesday, August 3, 2021, 9 a.m. - noon: Southern California Edison (SCE)
- Tuesday, August 3, 2021, 1 - 4 p.m.: Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)
- Wednesday, August 4, 2021, 9 a.m.- noon: Small Multi-Jurisdictional Utilities (Bear Valley Electric Service, Liberty Utilities, and PacifiCorp
- Apr. 20, 2021: CPUC Tree Overstrike Workshop on PG&E’s Proposed Implementation of Proposed Probation Conditions in its PSPS Program
- Mar. 29, 2021: Joint IOU 2020 PSPS Workshop
- Mar. 26, 2021: Meeting on Wildfire Risk Analysis Results
- Mar. 1, 2021: SCE 2020 PSPS Corrective Action Plan Meeting
- Jan. 26, 2021: SCE Meeting on Execution of 2020 PSPS Events
- Aug. 13, 2020: PG&E PSPS Public Briefing
- Aug. 11, 2020: SCE PSPS Public Briefing
- Aug. 10, 2020: SDG&E PSPS Public Briefing
Electric Utility 2021 Staff Briefings for Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) Preparation
Utilities presented Staff Briefings to CPUC staff in June/July 2021 on their preparedness for PSPS events. Six electric utilities provide power in California. Five of the six utilities presented their plans to the CPUC staff in Staff Briefing #1. Following that briefing, utilities responded to staff data requests in Staff Briefing #2.
PG&E Preparations for PSPS
SDG&E Preparations for PSPS
SMJU (PacifiCorp, Liberty, Bear Valley) Preparations for PSPS
Electric Utility 2020 Planning for Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS)
Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)’s biweekly reports on PSPS preparation as ordered by President Batjer in a January 30, 2020 ruling are filed in the Commission’s rulemaking addressing de-energization for all electric utilities. Visit the Docket Card (R.18-12-005) to view PG&E’s biweekly reports (and other proceeding documents) and make comment on the proceeding.
- Bear Valley Electric Service Public Safety Power Shutoffs Webpage
- PacifiCorp California Public Safety Power Shutoffs Webpage
History and Background
Over the last decade, California has experienced increased, intense, and record-breaking wildfires in Northern and Southern California. These fires have resulted in a devastating loss of life and billions of dollars in property and infrastructure damage. Electric utility infrastructure has historically been responsible for less than 10% of reported wildfires. However, fires attributed to power lines consist of roughly half of California history’s most destructive fires. With the continuing threat of wildfire, utilities may proactively cut power to electrical lines that may fail in certain weather conditions. Such power cuts reduce the risk of their infrastructure to cause or contribute to a wildfire. This effort is called a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). However, a PSPS can leave communities and essential facilities without power, which brings its own risks and hardships, particularly for vulnerable communities and individuals. From 2013 to the end of 2019, California experienced over 57,000 wildfires (averaging 8,000 per year), and the three large energy companies conducted 33 PSPS de-energizations.
In 2012, we ruled that California Public Utilities Code Sections 451 and 399.2(a) give electric utilities authority to shut off the electric power to protect public safety. This allows the energy companies (SDG&E, PG&E, SCE, Liberty, Bear Valley, and PacifiCorp) to shut off power to prevent fires when strong winds, heat events, and related conditions are present.
In 2017, fires raged in Santa Rosa, Los Angeles, and Ventura, making it one of California’s most devastating wildfire seasons. In response to the 2017 wildfires and Senate Bill (SB) 901, we revised earlier guidelines on the de-energization of power lines and adopted the most current set of PSPS guidelines on June 24, 2021 in Decision (D.) 21-06-034.
Power Shutoff Planning
Public Advisor's Office
CPUC, Public Advisor's Office
505 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102