PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018

Northern California Wildfires

Public Safety

PG&E’s efforts to keep the public safe range from comprehensive programs to train our workforce to investments in our gas and electric infrastructure to rigorous record-keeping systems. We also collaborate with federal, state and local emergency responders to improve coordination in the event of an emergency and promote emergency preparedness in the communities we serve.

Our Approach

Embedding Safety in Our Operations

We take a multifaceted approach to protect the safety of the public through our operations:

  • Gas Operations: PG&E works every day to build a robust and resilient gas system. Reflecting this commitment, we opened the Center for Gas Safety and Innovation, where we will develop new methods and technologies that combine to enhance the safety of our gas system. We also opened the Gas Safety Academy, which will serve as the primary training center for employees learning to operate and maintain every aspect of PG&E’s natural gas infrastructure.
  • Electric Operations: PG&E continues to enhance and strengthen its infrastructure, including making substantial investments to modernize the energy grid and improve our operations, maintain and replace older equipment and incorporate new technologies that improve our ability to deliver power safely and reliably.
  • Energy Supply: PG&E remains strongly committed to the highest levels of safety, performance and security at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant, as reflected by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s most recent affirmation that Diablo Canyon operated safely. We also continue to inspect and maintain our hydroelectric system according to strict safety guidelines and to enhance public safety outreach in communities around our facilities.

Emergency Preparedness and Response

To prepare for major weather events and natural disasters—earthquakes, wildfires, floods, heavy winds and blizzards—PG&E relies upon our enterprise-wide Emergency Management Advancement Program, through which we continually review and strengthen our catastrophic emergency response plans.

The program, led by our Emergency Preparedness and Response organization, ensures that we have:

  • Clearly defined organizational structures, roles and responsibilities,
  • Restoration priorities that incorporate community needs to help customers get back to normal,
  • Effective logistics plans that support restoration needs,
  • Technology that is ready and available to support our response,
  • Employees who are trained and fully understand their emergency roles, and
  • Employees who are personally prepared for emergencies and ready to respond at home and at work.

2017 Milestones

Storm and Earthquake Preparation

PG&E works year-round to prepare for extreme weather events through advance planning, new initiatives and the incorporation of state-of-the-art technologies.

Highlights from 2017 include:

  • Urging customers to stay safe during storms and other emergencies by taking a number of precautions, including creating an emergency preparedness kit and other steps.
  • Implementing earthquake early warning technology, becoming one of the first energy companies in California and the United States to include this early warning technology as a part of its seismic response.
  • Hosting the 12th annual California Day of Preparedness event, sponsored by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, where attendees learned practical steps for emergency preparedness and experienced a variety of disaster readiness demonstrations.
  • Using advanced meteorology technology to predict outage activity in advance of a storm and assess the required resources for restoration.

First Responder Collaboration and Assistance

In an emergency situation, our first priority is to protect the health and welfare of the public. We do that by coordinating and communicating with police, fire and other officials in an effort to keep the public and first responders safe. Our emergency response plan—which is developed, shared and tested with emergency officials—defines clear lines of responsibility for PG&E and emergency personnel. PG&E also maintains a secure First Responder website, where emergency officials can access training materials and gas transmission infrastructure information and maps.

Highlights from last year included:

  • Hosted more than 400 training workshops to better prepare firefighters, police, public works officials and other authorities to respond to emergencies involving electricity and natural gas. We also met with 380 local fire entities to address contingency planning for gas-related events.
  • Hosted representatives from the California Public Utilities Commission, the American Red Cross, the California Independent System Operator, the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the U.S. Coast Guard and others as PG&E held a two-day exercise to test our emergency readiness in the event of a large earthquake.

Community Outreach and Partnerships

We regularly work with community partners to better prepare for emergencies. Examples of activities conducted by PG&E and The PG&E Corporation Foundation include:

  • Awarded $2 million in wildfire prevention grants to local Fire Safe Councils. The grants marked the fourth consecutive year PG&E partnered with local California Fire Safe Councils to fund shovel-ready projects, with funds going to 43 local Fire Safe Council and other 501(c)(3) projects in 21 counties. Projects include fuel reduction, shaded fuel breaks, emergency access and chipping programs.
  • Contributed $1 million of shareholder funds to launch the California Resilience Challenge, a new corporate-giving initiative organized by the Bay Area Council and dedicated to helping communities prepare for, withstand and recover from extreme events caused by climate change.
  • Expanded the Better Together Resilient Communities grant program, by naming two additional grant winners in 2017—doubling our investment from $1 million to $2 million, or four $100,000 grants every year for five years. The shareholder-funded initiative supports local planning efforts to build resilience to extreme events and other risks related to climate change, such as sea level rise, flooding, land subsidence, heat waves, drought and wildfires.

Public Safety Awareness

Educating the public about working safely around our systems and facilities, and on how to stay safe during emergencies, remains a key element of our public safety strategy. Last year, PG&E:

  • Held exercises with local, state and federal agencies for dams with emergency action plans and urged customers and contractors to call 811 before digging.
  • Emphasized safety around downed power lines by providing safety tips online and through an extensive public advertising campaign. PG&E also urged customers to have a storm preparation plan and provided instructions on how to create an emergency supply kit.
  • Increased awareness of potential scams. Through regular and timely social media posts, monthly meetings with ethnic media and larger efforts during times such as Consumer Awareness Week, PG&E worked to warn customers regarding signs of potential scam activity, ranging from threats to disconnect service, requests for personal information or imposters posing as energy company representatives. PG&E also acted as a founding member of Utilities United Against Scams, a consortium of more than 100 U.S. and Canadian energy companies dedicated to educating consumers on the danger of potential online or in-person scams.
  • Provided safety tips for securing metallic balloons. During graduation season, PG&E urged customers to make sure helium-filled metallic balloons were secured with a weight to prevent them from coming into contact with overhead power lines and causing a public safety risk.

Cyber and Physical Security

Pacific Gas and Electric Company operates infrastructure that has been deemed critical to our national and economic security. As such, PG&E is firmly committed to working with other gas and electric providers, other essential industries, and government officials to develop and implement state-of-the-art security strategies and best practices.

In 2016, the Security Organization at PG&E was created, combining the cyber and physical security teams into one organization under Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Vice President and Chief Security Officer. The integration of both security functions shows PG&E’s commitment to address evolving threats and management of emerging complex risks, as illustrated by recent security threats to Fortune 500 companies.

PG&E’s priority is to protect our customers, employees, information and assets. We seek to continually improve our services through strategic deployment of our resources, standardizing security practices and policies, and reinforcing and promoting security awareness across the enterprise.

As PG&E’s technological footprint expands, the need to protect our personnel, assets and information from attacks becomes even more essential. To provide the security team with the tools they need to manage threats to our critical infrastructure, we have made investments in key areas to modernize the security infrastructure and building service capability.

The team of security and operations experts continuously identifies and evaluates internal and external security risks across the enterprise. Once risks are identified and prioritized, we develop mitigation plans to protect the enterprise and reduce risk. PG&E has around-the-clock centralized security monitoring operations for threat detection, situational awareness and incident management to proactively defend PG&E from both cyber and physical threats.

Measuring Progress

PG&E tracks our public safety performance via a set of public safety metrics with the aim of continuous improvement.

Safety performance constitutes 50 percent of management’s annual at-risk performance-based pay. Financial performance and customer service each represent an additional 25 percent.

Looking Ahead

PG&E remains steadfast in our commitment to public safety. We demonstrate this commitment by leveraging emerging technologies, pursuing strategies that improve the efficiency of our operations, maintaining international and industry certifications for gas safety and asset management, continuing to identify and prioritize assets to be upgraded or replaced, and partnering with our communities and first responders to increase emergency readiness.