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The areas most likely to experience power shutdowns are along the western slope of the ridge east of the golf course and adjacent to the City’s open spaces. These areas are within the City’s Wildland Urban Interface (WUI) and by their nature have increased vegetation and risk of wildfire.
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To deliver electricity to our customers, the City owns generation plants (geothermal, hydroelectric, solar, natural gas) throughout northern California. Once the energy is produced, it is transported across the State’s transmission grid, a network of high-voltage powerlines, to the City’s substation at Badger Park. The City owns and operates the distribution powerlines that deliver electric power from the substation to our electric customers.
As with most things, there are no guarantees; this includes the supply of electric power. Planned maintenance, birds, squirrels, weather events, and the occasional car accident can cause power outages and customers should be prepared for these events. We do provide 24/7 on-call staff coverage to speed outage restoration after-hours and our maintenance and repair programs tend to prevent many outages from occurring. The emergency Utility Hotline can be reached by calling (707) 431-7000 or toll free at (855) 755-6586.
Call (707) 431-7000 or (855) 755-6586. You will be asked to enter your account’s phone number including the area code. Select the appropriate reason for your call and a live representative will assist you with your problem.
The City has and continues to implement best practices such as constant patrolling of electric lines, annual inspections, installing new equipment, and line clearance tree trimming. For example, the City completed system hardening work along North Fitch Mountain Road. This work strengthened the poles and wires while also moving conductors further away from trees. View the Wildfire Mitigation Plan for more information.
If there is a safety concern, the City will assess the situation and may shut down (de-energize) portions of the power lines. Power outages in Healdsburg are rare and the City’s proactive work – such as ongoing tree trimming and overhead line maintenance -- significantly reduces the need to de-energize lines, but electric outages and public-safety power shutdowns are still a possibility.
If the City needs to de-energize power lines in the event of a disaster such as a wildfire, the City will make every effort to communicate those shutdowns in advance via tools including NIXLE, emergency alerts on the City’s website, social media, and automated phone calls. The City is taking preventative measures to lessen or avoid the need for power shutdowns.
City utility customers can update their contact information by calling (707) 431-7000 or toll-free (855) 755-6586. You will be prompted to enter your phone number including the area code. Select option 2 and a live representative will assist you in updating your billing information.
The City has developed an emergency preparedness brochure (in both English and Spanish) to help the community better prepare for natural disasters in general. Included in the brochure is information on how to create an “emergency kit”. The brochure is available on the Emergency Services webpage here (bit.ly/CoHemergency).
Specific to a public-safety power shutdown, below are some actions that you, your family, friends, and neighbors should take to prepare.
The state’s transmission grid, a series of high-voltage power lines, is extremely reliable. The City does depend on PG&E’s transmission system to power the City’s sub-station, but the primary transmission feed does not run through fire-threat zones (Tier 2 or 3). While the City did lose its transmission source during the 2019 Kincade Fire, shutting down transmission lines is rare and citywide power outages are very unlikely.
It depends on the specific situation – it could be a few hours, 24 hours, or longer. Regardless of the reason for the power outage, the City will take every safe and sensible step to restore power as soon as possible. During widespread outages, the City will provide status updates through social media and NIXLE alerts of estimated times to restore power. We encourage the City’s electric customers to sign up for NIXLE by texting your zip code (95448) to 888777. Following the City’s Facebook and Nextdoor pages will also provide up-to-date and current information from the City.
Let the Utility department know if you are dependent upon medical devices requiring electricity or have limited mobility at bit.ly/UTILAFN or 707-431-3307. We are committed to providing additional safety measures for customers who need energy for certain medical needs, including sending extra notifications. View examples of medical needs and recommended power outage preparations.
Flex Alerts are voluntary calls for consumers to conserve electricity. When the power system is stressed and available supply may be insufficient to meet expected demand, the State will be asking everyone to voluntarily conserve energy. You can help by taking these actions:
The City will communicate if a flex alert is expected. Your conservation efforts can help us avoid power outages or service interruptions. Find out more about flex alerts and sign up for notifications from the State at flexalert.org.
These additional resources can help you prepare for public-safety power shutdowns and wildfires.
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