california wildfires Copyright David McNew/Getty Images

PG&E Restores Nearly All Electric Customers After Wildfires Caused Outages

Gains Access to Additional 6,000 Homes and Businesses as it Continues Restoration Efforts in Wildfire Zones

After more than a week of around-the-clock restoration work, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said today that it had restored electric power to 97 percent of customers who can receive it. The company also reported it was granted access by CAL FIRE to an additional 6,000 homes and businesses, reducing the number of customers the company cannot access to about 400. The company expects to restore service to these 6,000 additional customers within the next 24 to 48 hours and get access through CAL FIRE for the remaining 400. PG&E also said it expects to restore gas service to all remaining customers who can receive it by Wednesday evening.

More than 4,300 PG&E employees and mutual-aid partners have worked since October 9 to safely restore service to customers. PG&E has worked closely with CAL FIRE, other agencies and first responders to be able to make the necessary repairs as soon as safe access to fire zones was assured.

PG&E crews will remain active in Sonoma and Napa Counties as they make the necessary permanent repairs to the company’s gas and electric systems.

Through Wednesday, PG&E gas service representatives and those from other Western utilities will continue restoring service to the remaining 11,000 customers who do not presently have gas service, but are in a position to accept gas service. This process involves working with the individual customers to relight their pilot lights. Restoration begins once infrastructure is repaired, and areas have been deemed safe by relevant authorities.

In all, as a result of the firestorm, more than 359,000 customers lost electric service and more than 42,000 gas customers had their gas service turned off. We took this action with safety first in mind to protect our customers and our communities.

As restoration efforts continue around the clock, PG&E is maintaining an absolute focus on customer and public safety and supporting firefighting efforts on these intense wind-fueled wildfires.

Electric Progress

Since Monday, Oct. 9, PG&E has restored power to nearly 97 percent of customers who were impacted by the fires. As of late Tuesday, there were about 10,500 electric customers without power in the fire-impacted areas.

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. Nearly 900 workers, from PG&E and other energy companies, have been working to relight pilot lights in areas where it’s safe to do so. There are 11,000 gas customers remaining without service in the fire-impacted areas.

Restoring gas service is a complex process, but progress is being made. Several factors are in play including PG&E’s access to fire zones, authorization from the proper authorities to restore gas, and the timing of when customers are allowed to return to their homes. Customers are reminded to call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 if they have questions about their gas service or need to have their pilot light relit. Customers should not relight the pilot light themselves.

Electric Restoration Process

  • Once crews have been given permission to enter an area by CAL FIRE, PG&E crews begin the electric assess, repair and restoration process.
  • Once safe, the first 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. The next steps are equipment repairs and coordinated restoration.
  • Based on needed repairs and time to compete work, an estimated time for restoration is established and communicated to customers.
  • Prior to safely re-energizing homes and businesses, PG&E will inspect adjacent facilities and ensure locations are safety to receive power.
  • 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.

 

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