PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018

PG&E Chapter 11 Update

Public Safety

Our commitment to safety is best demonstrated in the work we perform, from strengthening our gas and electric infrastructure to implementing new safety solutions in an environment challenged by climate change, promoting emergency preparedness in the communities we serve and continuing our Community Wildfire Safety Program.

Importantly, safety must and will come first as we continue through the reorganization process called for under our Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California. We will continue to prioritize safety, and the necessary steps and actions that must be taken to make the energy system safer.

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 continuously works to make our natural gas system the safest in the nation, with a focus on maintaining our best-in-class asset management certifications, meeting all compliance standards, and maintaining rigorous pipeline safety management systems.
  • Electric Operations: PG&E’s safety efforts in our electric operations can be seen in our efforts to harden our infrastructure, modernize the grid and execute the Community Wildfire Safety Program to continue to improve our ability to deliver power safely and reliably.
  • Energy Supply: PG&E remains focused on safely operating the Diablo Canyon Power Plant and our natural gas-fired generation facilities. 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.

Community Wildfire Safety Program

California faces a continued and growing threat of extreme weather and wildfires. To increase safety precautions following the 2017 and 2018 wildfires, we have enhanced and expanded our Community Wildfire Safety Program. Our goal is to further reduce wildfire risks and keep our customers and the communities we serve safe. This includes:

  • Accelerated inspections of electric towers and poles. These safety inspections include approximately 50,000 transmission structures in high fire-risk areas, all 222 substations in high fire-risk areas, and nearly 700,000 distribution poles in, or adjacent to, high fire-risk areas. Progress on PG&E’s wildfire safety inspections program is available to customers.
  • Deployment of the Satellite Fire Detection and Alerting System. After several years of testing and development, PG&E rolled out this state-of-the-art technological program that incorporates data from the two new GOES satellites, as well as three polar orbiting satellites, to provide PG&E with advanced warning 24/7 of potential new fire incidents.
  • Miles of stronger, more resilient infrastructure. PG&E is upgrading our electric system in the highest fire-risk areas by ultimately installing approximately 7,100 miles of stronger poles and covered power lines.
  • Public Safety Power Shutoff. PG&E is implementing additional precautionary measures to help reduce the risk of wildfires. For public safety, it may be necessary for us to turn off electricity as a last resort when extreme fire danger conditions are forecast.
  • New weather stations and high-definition cameras. PG&E is adding approximately 1,300 weather stations and 600 cameras by 2022 to provide improved awareness and real-time monitoring across high fire risk areas.
  • Wildfire Safety Operations Center. In 2018, PG&E opened a new Wildfire Safety Operations Center, staffed 24/7, to monitor potential fire threats across PG&E's service area in real time and coordinate with first responders and public safety officials to respond to any emerging threats and help keep communities safe.

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 Response Program Management Office (PMO), through which we continually review and strengthen our catastrophic emergency response plans.

The PMO 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.

2018 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 2018 include:

  • Urging customers to update their contact information, as part of a campaign encouraging customers to have a plan for the growing threat of climate-driven extreme weather and wildfires. PG&E is asking customers to update their mobile numbers, email addresses and other contact information so PG&E can communicate with them through important wildfire safety alerts.
  • Participating in an earthquake preparedness initiative, focused on the impacts of a hypothetical 7.0 earthquake along the Hayward fault on PG&E’s infrastructure.
  • Hosting the 13th annual California Day of Preparedness event, sponsored by the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, where dozens of state and local agencies, first responders and other community organizations offered a variety of preparedness tips and activities.

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.

Last year, PG&E hosted more than 450 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 more than 370 local fire entities to address contingency planning for gas-related events.

Community Outreach and Partnerships

We regularly work with community partners to better prepare for emergencies. Examples include:

  • Awarded $2 million in wildfire prevention grants to local Fire Safe Councils. The grants marked the fifth consecutive year PG&E partnered with local California Fire Safe Councils to fund shovel-ready projects, with funds going to 23 counties for 30 projects that will help keep communities safe. The funds will pay for fuel reduction, emergency access and defensible space projects, as well as chipper days in local communities.
  • Funded four new local climate resilience projects through Better Together Resilient Communities grant program. For the second year, this initiative, funded by the Utility and The PG&E Corporation Foundation, provided four $100,000 grants to support local planning efforts to build resilience to extreme events and other risks related to climate change, with a focus on extreme heat events.

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:

  • Urged customers and contractors to call 811 before digging. A call to 811 is the best safeguard and the first line of defense to preventing strikes on underground utility lines. Callers are connected to their local 811 center that notifies the appropriate utility of their intent to dig. That utility operator sends a specially trained and qualified technician to the digging site to mark the approximate locations of underground lines with flags or spray paint.
  • 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.
  • Taking a stand against scams. As part of the Utilities United Against Scams, a consortium of more than 100 U.S. and Canadian energy companies, PG&E advised customers on how to protect themselves against potential scammers.

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.

PG&E’s Security Organization includes both cyber and physical security teams, reporting to Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Vice President and Chief Security Officer. The combined functionality of the teams demonstrates PG&E’s commitment to addressing evolving threats and management of emerging complex risks. Recent security attacks on industrial control systems illustrate the importance of these efforts.

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. We have made investments in key areas to modernize the security infrastructure and to build service capability to provide the security team with the tools they need to manage threats to our critical infrastructure.

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.

In 2018, safety performance constituted 50 percent of management’s annual at-risk performance-based pay. Financial performance and customer service each represent an additional 25 percent.

As safety is PG&E’s most important responsibility, in 2019, weighting for public and employee safety measures increased to 65 percent. The customer service metric is weighted at 10 percent and financial performance at 25 percent.