Mar 052021

See how well power providers in the Palos Verdes area and across CA serve their electric customers.

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PALOS VERDES, CA — The monumental power failure in Texas caused by unseasonable cold showed how extreme weather can push an electric grid to the brink.

The average U.S. power customer loses electricity for 1.5 to 2 hours annually even before extreme weather events are taken into account, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. As the Texas experience showed, hurricanes, snowstorms, heat waves and other extreme weather events can make such outages dramatically worse.

Customers in California state experienced 9.78 hours without power in 2019 — 5.08 more hours than the national average of 4.7 hours in 2019, which is the most recent information available, according to the EIA.

Nationally, 3.2 hours of downtime occurred during major events such as hurricanes and blizzards in 2019, and 1.5 hours occurred during non-major events.

The average 2019 interruption time was shorter than 2018 and 2017, which saw total average outage times of nearly six hours and nearly eight hours respectively. Still, 2019’s average total outage time was higher than 2013 through 2016, according to the EIA.

The number of hours without power can vary widely from state to state, especially when many extreme weather events such as hurricanes, snowstorms and wildfires occur. North Carolina electric customers likely remember many hours in the dark during 2018 — the average customer in that state spent nearly 30 hours without power, much of that due to Hurricanes Michael and Florence.

The states with the highest average total interruption time per customer in 2019 were Maine, West Virginia, California, Michigan and Mississippi, according to the EIA. Maine had severe winter storms and California had large wildfires.

The states with the least amount of average downtime were Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Nebraska and Washington, D.C.

The EIA collects outage data from electric utilities annually and asks for information with and without major outages. The two major metrics are:

  • How often the average customer experiences a non-momentary power outage during a year, referred to as the system average interruption frequency index.
  • How many minutes the average customer is without power annually, referred to as the system average interruption duration index.

Most electric utilities use standards developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers to make their calculations. The IEEE uses a complex formula based on a utility’s historical data to determine whether an outage qualifies as a major event. It also only counts outages longer than five minutes.

Utilities are mostly owned by investors, cooperatives or municipalities. Investor-owned utility customers spent an average of 5.1 hours without power in 2019 while municipal customers spent an average of 2.1 hours and cooperative customers had about five hours without the lights.

Here’s how utilities in California did during 2019, according to data from the EIA.

Editor’s note: This list was automatically generated using data compiled by the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Please report any errors or other feedback to content@patch.com. Can’t find the utility provider you’re looking for? Try searching for it here.

Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

  • Owner type: Investor
  • Number of customers: 5,589,368
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 22.59
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 2.24
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 1.8
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 1

Southern California Edison Co

  • Owner type: Investor
  • Number of customers: 5,151,098
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 2.97
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 1.51
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 1.04
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.87

Los Angeles Department of Water & Power

  • Owner type: Municipal
  • Number of customers: 1,596,912
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 2.18
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 1.88
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.83
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.78

San Diego Gas & Electric Co

  • Owner type: Investor
  • Number of customers: 1,478,587
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 2.05
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 1.14
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.64
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.6

Sacramento Municipal Util Dist

  • Owner type: Political Subdivision
  • Number of customers: 633,150
  • IEEE standard followed: No
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 1.91
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 1.1
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 1.33
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 1.04

Imperial Irrigation District

  • Owner type: Political Subdivision
  • Number of customers: 156,460
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 0.99
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 0.9
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.53
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.51

City of Anaheim – (CA)

  • Owner type: Municipal
  • Number of customers: 120,978
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 0.7
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 0.7
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.57
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.57

Modesto Irrigation District

  • Owner type: Political Subdivision
  • Number of customers: 115,853
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 0.55
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 0.55
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.45
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.45

City of Riverside – (CA)

  • Owner type: Municipal
  • Number of customers: 112,114
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 1.31
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 1.08
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.66
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.64

City of Glendale – (CA)

  • Owner type: Municipal
  • Number of customers: 87,552
  • IEEE standard followed: No
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 3.62
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 1.25
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 3.26
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 1.41

Turlock Irrigation District

  • Owner type: Political Subdivision
  • Number of customers: 87,386
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 1.17
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 0.98
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.71
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.59

City of Pasadena – (CA)

  • Owner type: Municipal
  • Number of customers: 64,909
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 0.24
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 0.24
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.09
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.09

City of Roseville – (CA)

  • Owner type: Municipal
  • Number of customers: 61,657
  • IEEE standard followed: No
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 0.22
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 0.16
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.14
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.12

City of Santa Clara – (CA)

  • Owner type: Municipal
  • Number of customers: 55,526
  • IEEE standard followed: No
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 0.88
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: Not reported
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.54
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: Not reported

City of Burbank Water and Power

  • Owner type: Municipal
  • Number of customers: 52,560
  • IEEE standard followed: No
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 0.08
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 0.08
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.32
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.32

PacifiCorp

  • Owner type: Investor
  • Number of customers: 47,392
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 9.83
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 1.77
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 3.05
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.84

Liberty Utilities

  • Owner type: Investor
  • Number of customers: 47,194
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 6.94
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 6.94
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 2.96
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 2.96

City of Redding – (CA)

  • Owner type: Municipal
  • Number of customers: 44,378
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 1.29
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: 1.29
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 0.87
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: 0.87

City of Alameda

  • Owner type: Municipal
  • Number of customers: 35,442
  • IEEE standard followed: Yes
  • Average customer hours without power, including major events: 1.58
  • Average customer hours without power, excluding major events: Not reported
  • Number of outages for average customer, including major events: 1.07
  • Number of outages for average customer, excluding major events: Not reported

Click here to see the numbers for more California utility providers.

Via Patch.com


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