Power Shutoff Generator Bill Clears Key Committee

Press Release


SACRAMENTO – Legislation advanced Friday from senators Bill Dodd and Steven Glazer to ensure critical facilities such as hospitals, fire stations and water treatment plants can operate during wildfire-inspired electric utility power shutoffs such as those used last year by Pacific Gas & Electric Co.

“With wildfire season approaching and the possibility of even more power shutoffs, it is absolutely imperative that we keep essential facilities functioning,” said Sen. Dodd, D-Napa. “This bill is a commonsense step that ensures the public is served and protected at the most critical time.”

“We need to protect hospitals and their patients during PSPS events by not penalizing them for running backup generators,” said Sen. Glazer, D-Orinda. “Power is life and while these events are not declared emergencies, they have the same impact. This bill clarifies the rules that allows lifesaving power to flow.”

Senate Bill 1099 allows the most essential facilities to operate permitted emergency backup generators in the event of public safety power outages. Among other things, this flexibility would ensure there is electricity to pump and treat water during such outages, protecting public health and safety. Under existing law, such facilities could face penalties for running generators during power outages. Sens. Dodd and Glazer are co-authors.

The bill, which passed the Senate Environmental Quality committee with overwhelming support,  is sponsored by the California Municipal Utilities Association and the Las Virgenes Municipal Water District.

Senator Bill Dodd represents California’s 3rd Senate District, which includes all or portions of Napa, Solano, Sonoma, Yolo, Sacramento, and Contra Costa counties. You can learn more about Senator Dodd at www.sen.ca.gov/dodd.