EDITORS: Please do not use
"Pacific Gas and Electric" or "PG&E" when
referring to PG&E Corporation or its National Energy Group.
The PG&E National Energy Group is not the same company as Pacific
Gas and Electric Company, the utility, and is not regulated by the
California Public Utilities Commission. Customers of Pacific Gas
and Electric Company do not have to buy products or services from
the National Energy Group in order to continue to receive quality
regulated services from Pacific Gas and Electric Company.
ROTATING OUTAGES DUE TO ELECTRIC EMERGENCY
Today, the California Independent
System Operation (CAISO), ordered Pacific Gas and Electric Company
to begin implementing rotating outages throughout Northern California
in order to maintain electric service to customers that provide
essential public safety services, such as hospitals and fire stations.
The CAISO has initiated a Stage 3 electric emergency due to a lack
of generation resources available in California and reduced imports
from the Pacific Northwest. The CAISO reports more than 11,000 megawatts
of electric generation capacity off-line due to planned and unplanned
power plant outages.
The CAISO ordered rotating
block outages to begin at 11:50 a.m. The rotating block outages
will begin with customers on computerized circuits in Blocks 3 and
4, and proceed under the direction of the CAISO. The order asks
the utility to reduce demand by 400 megawatts, which will impact
approximately 200,000 PG&E customers. Municipal utilities and irrigation
districts in Northern California have also been ordered to reduce
demand by 100 megawatts.
The maximum duration of
the controlled outages for any individual customer is expected to
be 60-90 minutes.
Each customer's rotating
outage block number is shown on their monthly bill. Rotating outage
blocks are numbered from 1 through 14. Essential services, such
as hospitals, fire departments, police stations, and other vital
government functions will not be impacted at this level of rotating
Pacific Gas and Electric
Company urges everyone to be very careful during times of power
outages. It is possible that traffic lights will not be operating,
and congestion on streets could lead to dangerous situations. Pedestrians
and motorists are urged to exercise caution. Treat all uncontrolled
intersections as a four-way stop.
If your power goes out:
Turn off major electric
equipment and appliances to avoid a surge when power is restored.
Do not use candles because
of the risk of fire.
Never use the stove,
range, or other gas or propane appliance for heating.
Be sure to leave at
least one light on so you know when power is restored, then
you can turn on appliances and equipment one at a time.
flashlights with fresh batteries on hand. Pacific Gas and Electric
Company asks customers to be prepared and stay informed during
this crisis. Some tips to follow during a Stage 3 emergency:
Reduce electric consumption.
Turn off air conditioners, the use of washer, dryers, dishwasher,
and other major appliances should be postponed.
Turn off unused computer
monitors and printers and all unnecessary lighting.
Refrain from cooking
until after the emergency is over.
Monitor radio and television
news to stay abreast of curtailment schedules, which are subject
to sudden change.
should be minimized and confined to periods outside the morning
and evening peak demand periods.
The CAISO directs
utility companies to initiate rotating outages when the electric
reserve margin falls beneath 1.5 percent. The reserve margin is
the percentage of capacity above customer demand. The CAISO calls
for rotating outages throughout California to minimize the possibility
of uncontrolled, prolonged outages that could affect widespread
parts of the state.
Pacific Gas and Electric
Company thanks its customers for their cooperation during this emergency.
If customers have specific questions, they can contact the company
The CAISO is the agency
responsible for managing California's power grid. For more information
on the CAISO or the Stage 3 electric emergency, please visit their
website at www.caiso.com or call