CSAC Bulletin Article

CSAC Holds Public Safety Power Shutoff Meeting With Key Stakeholders

September 19, 2019

On Friday September 13, CSAC held a meeting in Sacramento with key stakeholders, including supervisors and senior staff from around the state, regarding public safety power shutdowns (PSPS). The meeting included representatives from Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDGE), the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (CAL OES), Napa, Mendocino, Riverside, San Diego and Sonoma Counties.

CSAC organized the meeting in order to facilitate an open dialogue to improve collaboration between counties, IOUs, and the state around de-energization policy. PSPS events are expected to increase this fire season in order to reduce the likelihood of utility caused wildfires. CSAC recently advocated at the CPUC on new rules that will govern PSPS shutdowns; however, implementation challenges still remain as IOUs and communities begin to experience higher numbers of PSPS events.

The conversation at CSAC focused on how IOU-run Community Resource Centers (CRCs) can provide communities needed resources, including charging stations, cooling station and other services. IOUs provided insight into its contracting and CRC location processes to help give context to the discussion. In addition, concerns were expressed regarding medically power dependent residents in communities and how to serve the needs of vulnerable populations.

Despite ongoing challenges, county leaders from across the state recognized positive steps with their IOUs and focused on how to facilitate better communication. CSAC intends to continue discussions in the future and will work with state regulatory entities at Cal OES, CPUC and the Governor’s Office in advocating for resources to help counties prepare for future PSPS events.

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