Crews and contractors working for Pacific Gas & Electric remain in the field performing essential work to maintain gas and electric service, improve the safety of the system, further mitigate wildfire risks, and reduce Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) impacts. Now, the company also is taking the steps necessary to keep communities informed about this vital wildfire prevention and safety work.
The utility is hosting a series of county webinars to detail the progress of its numerous actions being executed as part of the Community Wildfire Safety Program and share how any needed PSPS events in 2020 are expected to be smaller in scope, shorter in duration and smarter for customers. With these webinars, even amid the ongoing COVID-19 health impacts, PG&E will keep customers and communities informed about its continuing important safety work to prevent and mitigate the serious risk of catastrophic wildfires while keeping customers and communities healthy and safe.
The full webinar schedule, along with more information about PG&E’s Community Wildfire Safety Program, can be found at www.pge.com/wildfiresafety.
The schedule has been set up so that customers in adjoining counties can participate and hear details specific to their county. The webinars will feature a brief presentation and provide ample opportunity for participants to ask questions and provide feedback.
“As we all work to meet the challenge of COVID-19, we also know wildfire season is around the corner,” said Laurie Giammona, Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer for PG&E. “We want to ensure our customers understand the steps that we are taking in their community to prepare and improve for this year.”
PG&E has sought feedback and is listening to customers and communities about how it can do better, make improvements and take action. Since last year’s wildfire season, PG&E has participated in nearly 200 meetings with state and federal agencies, local emergency managers, local elected leaders, customers and community groups to listen, partner and improve. PG&E is continuing to conduct outreach to counties and tribes for coordination meetings, in addition to weekly webinars.
Given COVID-19 guidelines, these meetings have transitioned from in-person to web-based gatherings and the company continues to share its plans, seek feedback and make additional improvements.
This year, PG&E is enhancing and expanding its efforts to reduce wildfire risks and keep customers and communities safe. Changes reflect feedback from customers, elected leaders and other stakeholders. This includes: making Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events smaller in size, shorter in length and smarter for customers, installing new grid technology, hardening the electric system and performing enhanced vegetation management.
The webinars will take place on Wednesdays from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The following are the webinars planned through the rest of this month. May 13: For customers in Placer, Nevada, Sierra and Yuba counties; May 20: For customers in Solano, Yolo and Colusa counties; May 27: For customers in El Dorado, Amador and Calaveras counties.
Although the webinar events will highlight work in the listed counties, they will be open to all PG&E’s customers throughout the service area. Closed captioning will be available in English, Spanish and Chinese, and there will be dial-in numbers for those who aren’t able to join online.