Public Safety Power Shutoffs

  • Mar 11, 2020

The emerging effects of climate change include extreme fire conditions that present California with both challenges and opportunities to increase climate resiliency. The state’s electric investor-owned utilities (IOUs) continue to implement PSPS events as a preemptive safety measure to reduce risk of utility-caused wildfires.

Utilities initiate these events based on weather tools and meteorologist reports that show red flag warnings or conditions that are expected to increase the risk of fire—strong winds, warm temperatures and low humidity levels.

ACWA member agencies continue to face power outages during wildfire season, which imposes significant challenges on providing and treating water. Overcoming these challenges requires constant collaboration and coordination with electric investor-owned utilities, customers, staff working overtime, emergency services, state agencies, local government partners and other stakeholders.

This page is intended to  provide up-to-date information and resources that include bulletin notices, funding opportunities, legislation and regulation updates and more. Click on the below drop-down menus to learn more.

2020-2021 Updates

8/4/2021 Small multi-jurisdictional utility Public Briefing on readiness for 2021
8/3/2021 SDG&E Public Briefing on readiness for 2021
8/3/2021 SCE Public Briefing on readiness for 2021
8/2/2021 SDG&E Public Briefing on readiness for 2021
June/July 2021 Utilities presented staff briefings on PSPS preparedness
3/29/2021 Joint IOU 2020 PSPS Workshop
8/13/2020 PG&E Public Briefing
8/11/2020 SCE PSPS Public Briefing
8/10/2020 SDG&E PSPS Public Briefing 
7/24/2020 USEPA releases PSPS Standard Operating Procedures template
6/30/2020 ACWA releases 2020 PSPS Toolkit for members
5/28/2020 CPUC releases Fact Sheet on Proposed Decision to Update and Add Electric De-energization Event Guidelines (Phase II)
3/18/2020 Application deadline for Wildfire Resiliency and Recovery Grants
3/11/2020 ACWA webinar – Learn how to Apply for SGIP funds
2/11/2020 AB 2182 (Rubio) introduced
 2/11/2020 The Assembly Committee on Water, Parks and Wildlife holds informational hearing on PSPS. 
1/30/2020 CPUC Proposes Additional Guidelines for IOUs 


California Public Utilities Code (PU Code) Sections 451 and 399.2(a) grants electric utilities the authority to shut off electric the authority to shut off electric power to protect public safety.

  • April 19, 2012, the CPUC issued Decision (D.) 12-04-024, establishing factors for SDG&E’s shutoffs that included requirements for notifications, review, etc.
  • July 12, 2018, the CPUC adopted  Resolution ESRB-8, extending the de-energization reporting requirements and notifications to all electric investor-owned utilities
  • Dec. 13, 2018, the CPUC opened a new Rulemaking (R.18.12-005) to examine the IOUs’ processes and practices related to PSPS.
  • Aug. 14, 2019, the CPUC opened Phase 2 in R. 18-12-005 to address additional aspects of the utilities PSP processes and practices and to expand upon the guidelines adopted in Phase 1.
  • Nov. 13, 2019, the CPUC opened an investigation (I.19-11-013) to examine recent utility PSPS events and consider enforcement actions
  • Jan. 1, 2020, the CPUC proposes additional guidelines for utilities (R.18.12-005).

More regulatory details can be found on the CPUC’s website.

Funding Opportunities

  • Self Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) – Provides incentives for existing, new and emerging distributed energy resources that are installed on the customer’s side of the meter. $166 million will be available annually from 2020-2024 to prioritize customers most impacted by PSPS events. Any retail electric or gas distribution class customers are eligible to apply (industrial, agricultural, commercial or residential) through PG&E, SCE, SDG&E and SoCalGas. More information can be found online.
  • Proposition 84 Wildfire Resiliency and Recovery Planning Grants (expired) – There is a total of $720,000 available for up to 3-5 grants between $150,000 to $250,000 each. These grants are to help California communities affected by wildfire recovery and planning. For more information view the application guidelines and apply online before 5 p.m on March 18. Eligible applicants include local and regional governments (cities and counties) that were affected by wildfires between 2017-2019.
  • Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Grants – California Office of Emergency Services administers these funds for emergency management. water and wastewater agencies are encouraged to set up an account and pre-load information to expedite the funding process in the event of a catastrophic incident.
  • Clean Water Revolving Fund – The State Water Resources Control Board administers this low-cost financing for water quality and infrastructure projects including energy efficiency, stormwater, water reuse, security measures and more. The funding amount varies from less than $1 million to over $10 million. The loan term cannot exceed 30 years or the useful life of the project. More information can be found online.
  • Drinking Water Revolving Fund – Assists water systems’ financing of drinking water infrastructure projects that achieve compliance with the Safe Drinking Water act. The funding agency is the State Water Board and eligible projects include the planning, design and construction of treatment systems, interconnections and more. Funding limit is set by the water systems’ ability to borrow. Eligible applicants include Public- and privately-owned community water systems, non-profit or non-community water systems and community water systems created by the project. More information can be found online.
  • PSPS Resiliency Allocation to Cities and Tribes (expired) – These funds were made available by CalOES in November 2019 to procure long-term emergency electric generation, continuity plans, risk assessments for critical infrastructure, event reports, public education materials and supplies. More information can be found online.


Below are a number of resources available to help ACWA member agencies stay informed.

ACWA Resources

  • 2021 PSPS Toolkit
  • Coalition Letter request to advance wildfire legislation submitted Nov. 24, 2020
  • Comment Letter on CPUC’s proposed additional modified de-energization guideline submitted May 18, 2020
  • Comment Letter on CPUC’s proposed additional modified de-energization guideline submitted Feb. 19, 2020


GIS Mapping Files for Download

Electric Utility PSPS Websites


Additional Resources