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August 14, 2020 – PG&E on Friday (Aug. 14) was directed by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) to turn off power to about 200,000 to 250,000 customers at a time in rotating power outages given the strain on the power grid during the statewide heatwave. Other power utilities in the state are being directed to take similar actions.

The power will be turned off in rotating blocks until about 11 p.m. Power could be out for about one hour for each block.

Californians are being urged to continue to conserve power until 11 p.m. tonight to reduce power usage as supplies run tight during the peak period today.

Rotating outages are not Public Safety Power Shutoffs, which are conducted during specific high fire threat conditions.

Due to the emergency, PG&E will be unable to notify customers in advance of the power shutoffs, which could occur anywhere within PG&E’s service area.

CAISO oversees the larger power grid and balances energy demand with supply. Today’s heatwave greatly increased power demand and has the potential to outstrip resources for a few hours today.

“The safety of our customers and the communities that we serve is PG&E’s most important responsibility. We urge our customers to take immediate steps to reduce their power usage. We will work to restore power safely and as quickly as we are able,” said Michael Lewis, interim president of PG&E.

PG&E has already implemented programs with key customers to reduce power usage today but asks for more voluntary efforts by customers to reduce overall power use.