CPUC To Hold 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:
- August 1, 2022, 1– 5 p.m.: Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Bear Valley Electric Service
- August 2, 2022, 9 a.m.– 1 p.m.: Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), PacifiCorp, and Liberty Utilities
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.
The most updated information related to the briefings, including an agenda, will be posted on www.cpuc.ca.gov/psps.
Due to continued concerns about COVID-19, the briefings will not have in-person attendance. Members of the public can view the briefings via the Internet or listen and make comment by toll-free phone line. Those who would like to make public comment must participate by phone.
While a quorum of Commissioners and/or their staff may attend the remote access briefings, no official action will be taken on this matter.
If special accommodations are needed to attend, such as non-English or sign language interpreters, please contact the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s Office at email@example.com or toll free at 866-849-8390 at least three business days in advance of the briefings.
Utilities temporarily turn off power to specific areas as a last safety resort to reduce the risk of fires caused by electric infrastructure. This action is called a PSPS event. The CPUC and state partners, including the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, CAL FIRE, and the Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety, have been preparing for the 2022 wildfire and PSPS season. The actions the CPUC has taken to ensure utilities continue to reduce the scope and duration of PSPS events and prioritize customer safety include:
- June 2022: Issued proposed Administrative Enforcement Orders for the Commission’s consideration penalizing PG&E $12 million, SCE $10 million, and SDG&E $24,000 for violations related to 2020 PSPS events. All three utilities, as well as PacifiCorp, are directed to take specific corrective actions to ensure that future PSPS events comply with CPUC public safety and notification requirements. The proposed Orders also require utilities to forgo collection of revenues from customers that are associated with electricity not sold during future PSPS events until it can be demonstrated that utilities have made improvements in identifying, evaluating, weighing, and reporting public harm when determining whether to initiate a PSPS event.
- Early 2022: Held public meetings for the utilities to report on their 2021 PSPS performance and lessons learned.
- Early 2021: Held public meetings for the utilities to report on lessons learned and heard from impacted communities and access and functional needs communities on 2020 PSPS events. Additional public meetings were held in late 2021 for the utilities to report on their preparedness for the 2021 PSPS season.
- Early 2021: Required SCE to implement a series of actions to correct deficiencies in 2020 PSPS events.
- May 2021: Penalized PG&E $106 million for violating guidelines during Fall 2019 PSPS events.
- May 2020: Adopted refinements and improvements to existing PSPS guidelines and requirements in advance of the 2020 wildfire season.
- 2019 and throughout 2020: Required PG&E implement a series of actions to correct deficiencies in 2019 PSPS events.
- Directed the utilities to hold numerous public, internal, and collaborative meetings in order to improve their preparation and execution of PSPS events.
The CPUC regulates services and utilities, protects consumers, safeguards the environment, and assures Californians’ access to safe and reliable utility infrastructure and services. For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.