Power outages

Power outages can occur for a variety of reasons including earthquakes, severe storms, increased demand or public safety power shutoff. Putting together a power outage plan now can help protect your health and safety in the event of a power failure.

Rotating power outages

When we all conserve, rotating outages are preventable.

  • The California Independent System Operator (CAISO) decides when rotating outages are necessary to reduce demand on the power grid.
  • You may be notified by text, email and/or phone before PG&E enacts a rotating outage in your area. Outages typically last 1-2 hours.
  • Find your block and possible rotating outage period
  • Remember—all outage start times are estimates. They're meant as guidelines, not definitive schedules.
  • You can help prevent outages. This summer, discover simple energy saving tips to save money and help ease the burden on the power grid.

Look up your address

Here are some basic tips for what to do In the event of a power outage

  • If you see a downed power line – stay away, and keep others away. Assume downed power lines are energized and dangerous. Call 9-1-1 immediately to report the location, then call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000
  • Report outages in your home or neighborhood to PG&E 24 hours a day at 1-800-743-5002
  • Find out whether your neighbors are affected by the outage, or if it’s just your property (check your circuit breakers and fuse boxes)
  • Check outage status and report outages online, or call PG&E  at 1-800-743-5002 
  • Unplug or turn off all appliances during an outage to help avoid overloading circuits when the power is restored
  • Leave a single lamp on to alert you when the power returns

Take these steps in advance

  • Sign up to receive emergency alerts through SMC Alert
  • Keep a battery-operated flashlight and radio within easy reach. Listen for updates on storm conditions and power outages
  • Do not use wax candles – if you want to use candles, use only the safer LED candles
  • Keep a standard handset or mobile phone available – don’t depend on a phone that requires electricity to work
  • Store water-filled plastic containers in your freezer to use as blocks of ice to prevent food from spoiling

What is a public safety power shutoff (PSPS) event? 

PG&E has developed plans to shutoff power during critical fire weather in order to reduce the risk of wildfire. A PSPS could lead to multiday outages in many areas during periods of extremely hot, dry and/or windy weather. A PSPS outage will last as long as the potentially dangerous weather conditions exist, plus the amount of times it takes for PG&E workers to inspect and repair their equipment in the affected area(s). Residents need to be prepared to endure a power outage lasting at least 3-5 days.

Learn more about PSPS and how to prepare.