PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUtOFFS:
decision to shut off power during dangerous fire weather conditions is based on
weather forecasts and fire modeling, as well as real-time guidance from fire
scientists, meteorologists and crews in the field.
Southern California Edison considers the need for Public Safety Power Shutoffs when weather and fire experts forecast dangerous conditions, including strong winds and dry vegetation. Combined, these conditions create the risk that flying debris or other damage to wires and equipment could cause a fire with the potential to spread rapidly and threaten communities.
We only use PSPS as a last resort during extreme fire weather conditions to prevent a spark from our equipment starting a significant wildfire. While California continues to expect more intense, unpredictable weather events, we are committed to doing everything we can to reduce the need for PSPS and improve our operations and communications.”Jill C. Anderson, SCE Executive Vice President
PSPS decisions are based on quantitative analyses of weather and fire conditions. While making the decision to shut off power, SCE balances the benefit of reducing wildfire risk with the impact it could have on customers and the safety of communities in high fire risk areas. This technical paper provides in-depth information and analysis regarding PSPS decision-making factors and their implementation during dangerous wildfire conditions.
SCE has made significant progress expediting grid hardening work, including replacing bare power lines with wire with a protective coating, also referred to as covered conductor. In 2021, the company hardened 72 circuits that had been frequently impacted by PSPS events since 2019. In 2022, it expedited work on an additional 54 frequently impacted circuits and made enhancements to 16 others that were already hardened. Planned work includes 20 circuits in 2023.
This work has significantly reduced the need for PSPS outages and improved system performance. Customers saw improvements of 70% in 2021 compared to prior years and up to 88% in 2022 for customers who experienced a PSPS outage in 2020 and 2021.
As part of ongoing wildfire mitigation efforts, SCE is also undergrounding power lines in severe risk areas to continue to reduce the threat of wildfires. Undergrounding is important in severe risk areas, particularly where it is difficult to evacuate quickly.
Related Stories and Resources:
- For outage information and to manage your outage notification preferences, visit sce.com/outagemap.
- For more information on SCE's wildfire safety efforts, visit Edison.com/wildfire-safety.
- Public Safety Power Shutoff and Emergency Preparedness Annual Customer Newsletters.
- 211: To provide additional resources, during PSPS outages, for customers with access and functional needs.
- SCE rebates and programs support customers as they prepare for emergencies.