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State Delivers New Directives Regarding Power Outages

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Sacramento, CA — California’s Public Utilities Commission took action on some items related to power outages.

At a meeting yesterday the commission voted to mandate utilities have 72-hours of backup power for landline phone and internet services during outages. The move comes after the commission decided last year that cell phone towers must also have three days of backup power supplies. The purpose is to ensure that information can be relayed to and from emergency officials during planned (PSPS) or un-planned outages.

In addition, the commission voted to allow companies like PG&E to buy extra energy and pass the costs to consumers in an effort to avoid rolling blackouts. Last August 800,000 energy customers were left in the dark during an extreme heat wave after the California Independent System Operator ordered rolling blackouts for the state’s power grid. It was the first widespread order in nearly 20 years.  It was separate from the periodic PG&E planned power outages which are called during high wind events.

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