Life Support and Power Outages

Pacific Gas and Electric Company knows how important reliable electric and gas service is to our customers, especially those using life-support devices. We make every effort to prevent outages but sometimes storms, equipment failure, and other events cause them to occur.

We want to remind you to please be prepared in case temporary power outages do occur. Some things that you can do to prepare for power outages include:

  • Keeping phone numbers of emergency response agencies (e.g., 911, hospital, fire department, police) in a convenient location, in the event emergency assistance is needed;
  • Ensuring that you have a back-up telephone if you use a cordless or other telephone that is dependent on electricity;
  • Having a battery-powered radio on hand and a supply of fresh batteries to stay aware of news and other information;
  • Keeping a flashlight and extra batteries handy;
  • Having an alternate plan in place to ensure the continuity of any life-support needs. This may include making special arrangements to spend time with a friend or relative during an outage or using a back-up generator.
  • If you use a back-up generator, please understand that customers are responsible for the safe installation, use, and maintenance of any back-up power. If you would like a copy of our "Standby Electric Generator Safety" brochure or other emergency preparedness tips, visit us at Electric Generator Safety or call Pacific Gas and Electric Company at 1-800-743-5000. Speech/hearing impaired customers using TDD/TTY may dial 1-800-652-4712.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company will make an attempt to notify you if your service will be interrupted due to planned maintenance, repair or construction. We also will make an attempt to notify you in the event of "rolling blackouts." Rolling blackouts are service interruptions caused by electric power shortages or an electric power grid emergency.

In the event that you experience a rolling blackout, please tune to a local radio station for regular updates about the location and expected duration of the blackout. Generally, rolling blackouts last from one to four hours. It also may be helpful for you to know your rotating outage block number. Your rotating outage block number is located on the left-hand side of your bill and is usually mentioned in news reports to identify which areas or blocks are experiencing a rolling blackout. Since this number can change, it is important that you check your bill regularly to see if you've been assigned to a different block.

We are unable, of course, to provide advance notice of unscheduled power interruptions due to such events as storms, accidents, vandalism or equipment failure.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company welcomes the obligation to work on your behalf, and continually strives to prevent inconvenience to our customers.