Public Briefings on Utility Preparedness for 2022 Public Safety Power Shutoffs

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), in ongoing efforts to hold utilities accountable for executing safe and appropriate Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events, is requiring the state’s electric utilities to publicly present on their preparedness for PSPS events in 2022 at two virtual briefings, as follows:

WHEN:

WHAT: The electric utilities will provide updates on the status of preparation efforts and coordination with public safety partners, critical infrastructure and facilities, and customers, including those most vulnerable or with access and functional needs. The utilities will present on efforts to mitigate customer impacts and will identify changes to processes or operations in 2022 based on lessons learned.  

WHY: The CPUC is requiring the electric utilities to publicly present on their preparedness for PSPS events in 2022. The CPUC oversees the utilities’ preparation for and execution of PSPS events and has been driving the utilities to improve in response to lessons learned from previous PSPS events. The electric utilities submitted 2022 PSPS Pre-Season reports to the CPUC on July 1, 2022. The reports included specific plans for Community Resource Centers, critical facilities, PSPS exercises, education and outreach-related surveys and accessibility efforts, notifications, highest risk circuits, and identified lessons learned from 2021.

WHERE: Access each briefing virtually via webcast or phone, as follows:

  • Live video broadcast with English or Spanish captions via webcast: www.adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc
    • Participants who choose to view via webcast will have audio and video, but will not be able to make verbal comment. If you would like to make comments during the briefings, refer to the phone-in information below.
    • For captions, after clicking on the name of the briefing, click the green button below the video for captions. Then select captions by clicking on the white icon next to the word “live” at the bottom of the video.
    • The briefings will be recorded and archived for future viewing.
  • Phone (English): 800-857-1917, passcode: 6032788#
    • Participants will have audio (in English) and will be able to make comments.

Meeting Documents

 

Electric Utility 2022 Staff Briefings for Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) Preparation

Utilities presented Staff Briefings to CPUC staff in July 2022 on their preparedness for PSPS events. The six electric utilities that provide power in California presented their preparation plans to CPUC staff. These Staff Briefings will inform the utilities' Public Briefings on August 1 and August 2, 2022. 

SCE Preparations for PSPS

Staff Briefing Presentation

PG&E Preparations for PSPS

Staff Briefing Presentation

SDG&E Preparations for PSPS

Staff Briefing Presentation

SMJU (PacifiCorp, Liberty, Bear Valley) Preparations for PSPS

Staff Briefing Presentation – PacifiCorp

Staff Briefing Presentation- Liberty Utilities

Staff Briefing Presentation- Bear Valley

  • Feb. 23 and 25, 2022: Public Briefings on Utility Execution of 2021 PSPS Events

 

PSPS Preparation

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

Staff Briefing #1

Staff Briefing #2

SDG&E Preparations for PSPS

Staff Briefing #1

Staff Briefing #2

SMJU (PacifiCorp, Liberty, Bear Valley) Preparations for PSPS

Staff Briefing #1

Staff Briefing #2

 

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.

 

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.

Related Information

August 31, 2021: President Batjer's letter to PG&E, SCE, and SDG&E and SMJUs re: August 2021 Public Safety Power Shutoff Public Briefings

June 25, 2021: Executive Director's Letter to PG&E re: Implementation of Tree Overstrike Criteria