During heat waves, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), the organization that runs the state’s electric grid, can call for rotating outages statewide to protect the stability of the grid. Most utilities in the state including PG&E could be called on to participate.
These outages should last between 1 to 2 hours for most customers. These are not Public Safety Power Shutoffs due to extreme fire danger and are not related to any issues with PG&E’s equipment or its ability to deliver energy locally.
You can do your part to help prevent blackouts by conserving energy. Set thermostats to 78 degrees or higher. Run energy intensive appliances during early morning or after 9 p.m. Close drapes and blinds to keep rooms cool.
Rotating outages (Stage 3 Emergencies) become necessary when the ISO is unable to meet minimum contingency reserve requirements and load interruption is imminent or in progress. These emergencies are declared by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).
CAISO will typically order the state's utilities, including PG&E, to reduce electrical load by turning off service immediately, in order to prevent larger outages on the grid. Due to the emergency nature of these outages, we will not be able to give advance warning to customers.
If we are in a situation that requires officials at the California Independent System Operator 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 will 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 of time, should a Stage 3 emergency be declared by the CAISO.
A rotating outage typically lasts one to two hours. We manage and rotate the outage across groups 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 look up your outage block and see a list of possible rotating outages, visit the rotating outages status page.
In the event of a Stage 3 Emergency, the CAISO will communicate to California's utilities the amount of energy "load," in MWs, that needs to be taken offline. PG&E then targets circuit blocks to meet the required energy total provided by the CAISO.
Due to the rotational nature of these outages, an effort is made to ensure that customers are not impacted by back-to-back events over the course of multi-day extreme weather events.
The CAISO maintains reliability on California's energy system, one of the largest and most modern power grids in the world.
As the statewide power grid operator, the CAISO works diligently around the clock to meet the electricity needs of consumers, while increasing the amount of renewable energy to usher in the clean, green grid of the future.
PG&E, along with the San Diego Gas and Electric and Southern California Edison are participating members in the CAISO, and coordinate on the topics of energy demand and reliability.
Flex Alerts are part of a state-wide program run by the CAISO which manages the power grid in California.
The purpose of a Flex Alert is to encourage customers to conserve as much energy as they can during a designated period. The ISO typically calls a Flex Alert when state-wide forecasts are trending higher than average.
Yes, we account for energy savings from some of our larger customers who are incentivized to save when we need it the most. PG&E employs Demand Response programs in order to incentive customers to conserve power during periods of high demand. Some of our larger customers who are running businesses that require a lot of energy are given an incentive to shift their load when energy demand is trending higher than average.
No. These rotation outages called for by the CAISO are not Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events. PSPS events are the result of extreme weather, that makes it necessary to temporarily turn off power to reduce the risk of wildfire. Customers receive advance notice in the event of a PSPS.