Public Safety Power Shutoff

A Guide to the PSPS Outages and How Electriq Power Can Help


The PSPS program is a safety measure taken by PG&E and other electric utilities to preemptively de-energize transmission lines considered to be “at risk for failure” during the gusty winds and dry conditions that create a heightened fire threat. Homeowners served by those power lines are blacked out for some period of time, and not just until the weather event subsides. Various local outages will continue until PG&E crews can inspect the de-energized power lines and ensure there is no damage.

The October 2019 PSPS event was one of the worst outages experienced by California, when over 738,000 PG&E customers were without power for several days. Needless to say, this was very disruptive to many communities and homeowners.

As long as the threat of wildfires loom, blackouts will become more common – some refer to it as the “new normal.” More people are turning to modern “home battery backup” systems to utilize this power-on-demand capability and employ software intelligence for monitoring and customization. When used in conjunction with solar panels on the home, they are often referred to as “solar battery storage.”


We live in a 24-hour, 7-day a week society. Consumers lives have become totally dependent on uninterrupted power – we withdraw money from ATMs, our gas pumps driven by electricity, buy food using our credit cards, stay connected via WiFi routers, and we even need electricity for garage doors to enter our homes after a long day at work!

One of the key features in the PowerPod 2 is the automation. As soon as PG&E publicly warns of an upcoming power shutoff, the PowerPod can be easily set into ‘Backup Mode’ that prioritizes its batteries to stay at a maximum charge while connected to the grid or solar. Once a power outage occurs, the PowerPod automatically provides power to pre-designated home appliances and devices. If your home has solar panels, it is possible to stay off the grid as long as there is sunshine and your energy home consumption doesn’t exceed the PV panels production. This will be very useful for longer outages, such as what might occur with a major disaster whether fire or earthquake-related.

As the adoption of home battery storage grows, more resiliency is added to the overall utility electrical grid resulting in a less disruptive and more humane use of PSPS to mitigate wildfire threats.

Stay Informed

Stay up-to-date with PG&E’s outage map to see if your area is affected.

We’re Here to Help

We get it. We’re Californians trying to help solve California problems. Contact us today to learn how we can help keep your power on.