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PG&E Nears Electric Restoration Completion; Gas Restoration More than 60 Percent Complete in Communities Impacted by Northern California Wildfires

PG&E Urges Customers Not to Relight Pilot Lights Themselves for Safety Reasons

Release Date: October 16, 2017
Contact: PG&E 1-800-743-5000

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—More than 4,300 Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) employees and mutual-aid partners continued restoring electric and gas service to customers impacted by the unprecedented wind-driven wildfires in Northern California. As restoration efforts continue around the clock, PG&E has an absolute focus on customer and public safety while supporting firefighting efforts.

By late Monday night, the company anticipates restoring service to essentially all electric customers able to receive it, once approval to energize is granted by CAL FIRE. By Wednesday night, the company anticipates restoring service to all gas customers able to receive it, once safe access is granted by CAL FIRE.

"To support all of our customers impacted by these terrible wildfires, we have marshalled one of the largest restoration responses in recent company history at a scale that compares with our response during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake," said Nick Stavropoulos, PG&E president and chief operating officer. "Surveying the devastation with our crews first hand is a sobering experience, and I am humbled by the dedication of our team and partners who are tirelessly working around the clock to restore electric and gas service. We won’t rest until all our customers are restored, and we will continue to support our customers in the long term as they work to rebuild and recover from this tragedy."

Electric Progress
Since Monday, October 9, PG&E has restored power to more than 94 percent of customers that lost power during the wildfires. Currently, there are approximately 22,000 electric customers without power in the fire-impacted areas. There are approximately 15,200 customers who are out of power in Sonoma County. There are about 2,800 customers out of power in Napa County. Where it is safe to do so, and where PG&E is granted access and authorization to re-energize our powerlines by CAL FIRE, the company expects to be able to restore essentially all customers by Monday night.

Gas Progress
Since Monday, October 9, to protect customer and public safety, PG&E proactively turned off gas service to about 42,000 customers in the affected areas of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties. Some 900 workers, from PG&E and from mutual-aid partners, have been working to relight pilot lights in areas where it is safe to do so. Over the past several days, we have restored gas service to approximately 23,000 customers or approximately 60% of impacted customers who can safely take service. We are working to restore the remaining 15,000 gas customers who are able to accept service.

PG&E appreciates its customers' patience during this process, and understands the urgency in relighting appliances in homes and businesses. With safety as the top priority, PG&E asks that customers please do not attempt to relight pilot lights themselves. For customer safety, PG&E will perform this service and conduct a safety check. This is a free service.

As PG&E works through the restoration process, it pressure tests and safety checks the gas system several times. When individuals attempt to relight their own gas service, this results in a delay for all customers who are out of service. If customers have already relighted their own gas service, they can call 1-800-743-5000 so that PG&E can provide a safety check. PG&E crews are working around the clock with CAL FIRE to ensure areas are safe to access and to restore service and relight pilot lights.

The company continues to dispatch workers, supplies and equipment from its base camps in Napa, Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake Counties. Crews from five states are bolstering PG&E’s workforce as part of a mutual-aid agreement. PG&E’s base camp in Rohnert Park in Sonoma is the largest in the company’s history.

Electric Restoration Process

  • Once crews have been given permission to enter an area by CAL FIRE, PG&E crews begin the electric assessment, repair and restoration process.
  • Once safe, the initial step is damage assessment. Typically, this occurs within 12 to 24 hours.
  • PG&E workers will be on site to make the area safe by isolating electrical hazards.
  • Next, an estimated time for restoration is established, based on needed repairs and time to complete work, and communicated to customers.
  • Before safely re-energizing homes and businesses, PG&E will inspect adjacent facilities and ensure locations are safe to receive power.
  • Finally, where safe to do so and access is allowed, restoring service will typically take 24-48 hours depending on the extent of damage and complexity of the work.
  • Repopulation decisions to areas or neighborhoods are made by local law enforcement.


Gas Restoration Process

  • Once crews have been given permission to enter an area by CAL FIRE, PG&E crews begin the gas restoration process.
  • When PG&E gains access to homes and businesses, gas crews check the meter. Then, PG&E works to identify structures that are safe to restore service and those that have sustained too much damage to safely restore service. Assessments begin immediately and typically occur within 24 hours of gaining access.
  • Because gas service was turned off to customers, any air present in the pipeline system is purged to ensure that natural gas is safely delivered to every structure. The purging process requires a site visit by a gas technician to access the gas meter.
  • Next, the system is resupplied with gas and is pressure tested to make sure it is safe.
  • PG&E gas workers visit every home or business where gas may be safely restored to turn the meter on, purge the pipe within the structure, check for leaks and ensure every pilot is relit for safe operation.
  • Repopulation decisions to areas or neighborhoods are made by local law enforcement.


About PG&E
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit and


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