PG&E Restores Electric Service to Nearly All Butte County Customers Able to Receive It
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Dec 19, 2018--As part of its commitment to help its customers and communities with the recovery and rebuilding process, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) said today that nearly all customers in Paradise and surrounding areas who are able to receive electric service have now been restored. Since Camp Fire restoration started, approximately 10,000 electric customers who can receive service now have power.
On Sunday, December 16, PG&E crews restored electric service to essentially all customers who can receive power within the fire footprint, with work continuing this week to reach a few isolated homes and businesses.
Gas service restoration efforts continue on schedule, and most customers who can receive gas service are expected to be restored by next month with all customers projected to be restored by March 2019.
Individual restorations for electric or gas service in the fire-impacted area may not be possible. In those instances, PG&E will be working with local leaders on a longer-term plan to rebuild the electric and gas system.
“Restoring electricity and gas is an essential first step on the journey to rebuild the community devastated by this fire. As we gain access to the areas deemed safe, we’re inspecting infrastructure, determining the extent of the damage and restoring gas and electric service to those who can receive it,” said Aaron Johnson, a PG&E vice president of Electric Operations.
PG&E has suspended all customer disconnections and credit/collection activities in area affected by the fires. As we move forward with our long-term rebuilding plans, we are also working closely with the town of Paradise and Butte County to ensure that the infrastructure reconstruction effort fully aligns with their strategy for rebuilding these communities.
Customers with questions in the region can contact PG&E customer service directly at 1-800-PGE-5000 and select the Camp Fire prompt.
Expanding and Accelerating Wildfire Safety Measures
Given the continued and growing threat of wildfire, PG&E is evolving and expanding its Community Wildfire Safety Program. Following last year’s wildfires, PG&E launched the program in March as an additional precautionary measure to further reduce wildfire risks and help keep its customers and the communities it serves safe. Ongoing and expanded actions include:
Real-Time Monitoring and IntelligenceCoordinating prevention and response efforts by monitoring wildfire risk in real-time from its Wildfire Safety Operations Center. Expanding its network of weather stations to enhance weather forecasting and modeling. By 2022, PG&E will add 1,300 new weather stations in high fire-risk areas. Installing nearly 600 new high-definition cameras in high fire-threat areas, increasing coverage across these areas to more than 90 percent.
New and Enhanced Safety MeasuresFurther enhancing vegetation management efforts with an increased focus on vegetation that poses a higher potential for wildfire risk, such as overhanging branches and limbs directly above and around power lines, and tree species at an increased risk of falling into power lines, as well as dead and dying trees. Conducting accelerated safety inspections of over 5,500 miles of transmission lines, including approximately 50,000 structures in high fire-threat areas, in addition to routine inspections and maintenance. This includes ground or climbing inspections, as well as aerial imagery captured by drones and in some cases, helicopter, to further complement and enhance visual inspections. Taking action right away to address any immediate risk to public safety found during accelerated inspections. Similar inspections of distribution lines in high fire-threat areas are planned to begin in early 2019. Disabling of automatic reclosing of circuit breakers and reclosers in high fire-risk areas during wildfire season. Proactively turning off electric power for safety, only as a last resort, when extreme fire danger conditions are forecasted, and helping customers prepare by providing early warning notification when and where possible.
Longer-term Electric System HardeningInstalling stronger and more resilient poles and covered power lines across 7,000 miles of highest fire-risk areas over the course of the next 10 years, reducing the likelihood of damage from debris, animals and birds. Replacing equipment to further reduce risk to its system and tailoring upgrades based on terrain and weather conditions using more granular analysis of fire-prone regions. Piloting new resilience zones to provide electricity to community resources and help reduce the potential impact of a Public Safety Power Shutoff event.
More information on the Community Wildfire Safety Program is available at www.pge.com/wildfiresafety.
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 www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.
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CONTACT: Media Relations
KEYWORD: CALIFORNIA UNITED STATES NORTH AMERICA
INDUSTRY KEYWORD: ENERGY UTILITIES OIL/GAS
SOURCE: Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Copyright Business Wire 2018.
PUB: 12/19/2018 07:01 PM/DISC: 12/19/2018 07:02 PM