SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As part of its efforts to prepare customers and communities for the growing threat of wildfire, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has hosted nearly 6,000 individuals in a series of informational open houses, webinars and workshops throughout its service area. These events are part of PG&E’s enhanced and expanded Community Wildfire Safety Program, implemented following the 2017 and 2018 wildfires to further reduce wildfire risks and help keep customers and communities safe.
Over the course of 23 regional open houses, more than 3,000 attendees met with PG&E representatives to learn more about wildfire safety and emergency preparedness. For those unable to join in person, PG&E also held three informational webinars with more than 2,000 attendees receiving a presentation and having the opportunity to ask questions and provide feedback. Additional meetings and webinars are planned in the coming months.
“In order to be successful in wildfire safety efforts, we know we need to work together with our customers and our communities to share information and help everyone prepare,” said Laurie Giammona, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer. “Having the opportunity to listen to our customers’ feedback and answering their questions is essential, and we appreciate everyone who has taken the time to participate in these events.”
PG&E’s Community Wildfire Safety Program includes real-time monitoring and intelligence capabilities, new and enhanced safety measures, and a critical hardening of the electric system. A key wildfire safety effort is the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program, where PG&E will proactively turn off power for safety if gusty winds and dry conditions, combined with a heightened fire risk, threaten a portion of the electric system.
At the open houses, customers asked many questions, with topics ranging from trimming trees on their property and the possibility of undergrounding power lines to the impact of a PSPS on wells and pumps.
“Many customers thanked us for hosting these open houses,” said Jim Monninger, a PG&E senior manager in Customer Care who staffed meetings in Auburn, Grass Valley and Placerville. “Even customers who understandably have a lot of questions about PSPS said they generally understand the reasoning behind it and appreciate that we are taking the time to answer their questions.”
PG&E is working directly with civic and community leaders, first responders and local agencies to host workshops to prepare for Public Safety Power Shutoffs. To date, more than 850 local and state representatives and critical service providers have attended 17 workshops to discuss how their communities can prepare if PG&E needs to turn off power for safety.
"We know how much our customers rely on electric service and that we need to work closely with customers and communities so that they know what to expect and what steps can be taken right now," said Aaron Johnson, a Vice President in Electric Operations who participated in the webinars. “We want everyone to have a plan, and to make sure that we have accurate contact information so that we can provide advance notification before a Public Safety Power Shutoff occurs.”
For more information about the Community Wildfire Safety Program, including links to update contact information and resources for Public Safety Power Shutoffs, visit PG&E’s website 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.
Following the wildfires in 2017 and 2018, some of the changes included in this document are contemplated as additional precautionary measures intended to further reduce future wildfire risk.