NEW IN 2023: When rotating outages are planned, enter your address in the Outage Center to find out if you’ll be affected. You no longer need to look up your block number.
A rotating outage is an electric power outage that rotates from area to area, so no single neighborhood is down for very long. It’s designed to reduce demand and maintain power-grid reliability. Brief outages protect against longer and larger outages.
Flex Alerts are part of a statewide program, also run by the CAISO. The purpose of a Flex Alert is to encourage customers to conserve as much energy as they can during a designated period. The CAISO typically calls a Flex Alert when statewide forecasts are trending higher than average. If customers conserve energy, rotating outages can be prevented.
Before the Flex Alert, Californians should:
During the Flex Alert, Californians should:
If the CAISO determines rotating outages are necessary, you can find out if and when you’ll be affected. Look up any address in our service area in the Outage Center.
When demand for electricity is higher than supply, such as during a heat wave, Californians might be asked to use less energy. If enough people conserve electricity at once, rotating outages can be cancelled or postponed by an hour or more.
An Energy Emergency Alert 3 (EEA 3) is issued when the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) is unable to meet minimum Contingency Reserve requirements for electricity and a load interruption—otherwise known as a power outage—is imminent or in progress. These emergencies are issued by the CAISO.
The CAISO will typically order the state's utilities, including PG&E, to reduce electrical load by initiating rotating outages to prevent larger outages on the grid. Due to the emergency nature of these outages, we may not be able to give advance warning to customers.
If your block is called, you'll experience an outage of typically 1-2 hours. Once your outage is over, your block shouldn't be shut off for a rotating outage again until all the other blocks in PG&E's service territory have been called.
Your block's shutoff time was pushed into the next timeslot because a shutoff wasn’t needed. For example, if your block was estimated to be shut off from 4-5 p.m. and a shutoff wasn't required, your block becomes first on the list for 5-6 p.m. This continues until the risk for outage passes completely or until rotating outages are enacted.
The CAISO manages the power grid in California. PG&E, along with the San Diego Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison, are participating members in the CAISO.
No. Rotating outages are due to statewide supply-and-demand issues. The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) operates the state's power grid and tells PG&E when to enact a rotating outage. A PSPS helps prevent a wildfire in areas where severe weather and dry vegetation conditions are present. PG&E determines when a PSPS is needed—not the CAISO.
If we are in a situation that requires the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to call for rotating outages, PG&E will communicate to customers through local media, social media, and phone calls to alert them of the situation.
Due to the emergency nature of these outages, we may not be able to give advance warning to customers. Customers are being asked to conserve power and plan for the possibility of losing power for a brief period, should the CAISO issue an Energy Emergency Alert 3 (EEA 3).
A rotating outage typically lasts 1-2 hours. We manage and rotate the outage across blocks of customers throughout the service territory to protect the integrity of our electric system, while limiting the inconvenience to any one customer or community.
To find out if and when any location in our service area will be affected by a rotating outage, look up the address in our Outage Center.
In the event of an Energy Emergency Alert 3 (EEA 3), the CAISO will communicate to California's utilities the amount of energy load (in megawatts) they need to take offline. PG&E then selects the number of blocks in our service territory that, when taken offline, will meet the required reduction in energy.