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UPDATE: PG&E restores power following rotating power outage

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Posted at 3:50 PM, Aug 15, 2020

UPDATE (9:33 P.M.) - A spokesperson for PG&E tells KSBY the rotating outage has now ended and power has been restored back to customers.
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UPDATE (6:52 P.M.) - According to officials, PG&E has initiated rotating outage which will impact about 200,000 to 250,000 customers.

Customers in portions of the Central Coast and Central Valley, including Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Joaquin counties will be impacted, according to the utility company.

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ORIGINAL STORY (3:50 P.M.) - Rotating power outages are possible again across California Saturday night, officials say.

According to PG&E, rotating power outages could happen between 5 and 10 p.m. based on the utility's current usage forecasts from the state’s electric grid operator, the California Independent System Operator (CAISO).

These outages would be one to two hours in duration and should not impact customers overnight, according to the utility company.

Excessive electricity use puts a strain on the state's electrical grid and if conditions don't improve, the CAISO may declare a Stage 3 emergency, which would result in rotating outages.

So far, CAISO has declared a Stage 2 electrical emergency Saturday afternoon.

On Friday night, PG&E was directed by CAISO to turn off power for about 220,000 customers across the sate to help relieve strain on the power grid during the heatwave.

That decision came after CAISO declared a Stage 3 electrical emergency due to a lack of adequate energy supply statewide.

In a press release, PG&E officials said, "These outages were not related to any issues with PG&E’s equipment or its ability to deliver energy locally. Other power utilities in the state were directed to conduct similar rotating outages Friday."

PG&E Tips to Save Energy and Reduce Usage

  • Raise the thermostat: Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when at home, health permitting. Turn it up to 85 degrees or turn it off when not at home.
  • Use a ceiling fan: Turn on a ceiling fan when using the air conditioner, which will allow the thermostat to be raised about 4 degrees to save on cooling costs with no reduction in comfort. Turn off fans and lights when you leave the room.
  • Cover windows: Use shade coverings and awnings so the air conditioner won’t have to work as hard to cool the home.
  • Avoid using the oven: Instead, cook on the stove, use a microwave or grill outside.
  • Limit the opening of refrigerators, which are major users of electricity in most homes. The average refrigerator is opened 33 times a day.

Rotating outages are different from a Public Safety Power Shutoff, which are conducted during specific high fire threat conditions.