power outage

Innovation Spotlight: New Tech Helps Minimize Customer Impact During Public Safety Power Shutoffs

In light of year-round wildfire threats, Public Safety Power Shutoffs are now recognized throughout California as an important tool to minimize risk to lives and property during periods of extreme fire danger – for example when winds are high, humidity is very low and vegetation is tinder-dry.

While power shutoffs are an essential part of our fire risk mitigation toolbox, we also understand they make life inconvenient for our customers. Having heard our community’s concerns during a series of townhalls held earlier this year, our engineers developed a new technology so fewer customers will be impacted during proactive power shutoffs.

Ahead of this year’s fire reason, we have installed sectionalizing devices in fire-prone communities. These devices sectionalize electric circuits, so it’s possible to keep the power on to more customers while maintaining public safety.

What these devices can do is turn off power in one section of a power line while still maintaining power to customers served downstream or upstream from the de-energized section.

A Last Resort

If there’s a fire, sometimes fire officials or other agencies ask us to cut power to keep the community and/or their crews safe. Whatever the circumstances, we’ll make every effort to communicate with our customers in advance via email, phone calls and text messages.

Turning off power isn’t a decision we take lightly. It’s a last resort to protect public safety during extreme situations.

Learn More

You can learn more about our customer notification process for public safety power shutoffs here. Stay informed by making sure the contact information you have provided us is up-to-date. Go to sdge.com/myaccount, click on “Manage My Account” and update your contact information, so you can receive alerts for outages and other notices.