Power outages impacting nearly 2,500 SLO County residents

July 24, 2023


More than 2,400 PG&E customers lost power in northern San Luis Obispo County on Monday morning.

Shortly after 5 a.m., 729 PG&E customers in the Lake Nacimiento area lost power. PG&E estimates the power will be restored by noon. The cause of the outage remains under investigation.

At 10:23 a.m., the power went out for 1,738 customers in southern Atascadero, Santa Margarita and the Santa Margarita Lake area. The utility estimates power will be restored by 4:15 p.m.

PG&E officials point at a new “fast trip” feature that automatically shuts off power when an object strikes a line in order to prevent equipment-sparked wildfires. Because of this, a tree branch or a bird hitting a wire can lead to a power outage.

Once an outage occurs, crews embark on a lengthy inspection process of all wires in the area, which must take place during daylight hours.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Pacific Graft & Extortions’ way of getting back at the rate payers and jury members for past lawsuits. We are now a third world society in the northern half of California, Thank you PG&E, PUC, and Newsum.

And we are going to recharge our cars on this unreliable 3rd world grid?… yeah right…

Have you seen how many tesla, rivian and other electric cars are on the roads in our county? They are getting charged just fine and your lights are on right?

We can go to and land on the moon but can’t have a better system than this fast trip system where if a bird takes a dump on the line while passing over it the power goes out you need to actually go back and inspect the line before you turn it back on. There should be a way to verify the line is good without a physical check. Figure it out PG&E now I begin to wonder if we did walk on the moon.

verify the line is good without a physical check.”

You want them know the status of a tree branch someplace, without a physical check? Crystal ball? Robots?

Let me get this straight. So a large bird lands on a power line and the system gets shut down for 8 + hours. Who’s great idea was that?

I suspect the idea came from Sacramento and/or PG&E’s insurance carrier. Far less public outcry (at least for now) and costs when folk to lose power many times vs one fire from a downed line.

I’d rather a few hours of no power than see my community destroyed by a wildfire; high stakes, worth the risk.

The other option should be to have PG&E maintain their equipment, spending money on maintenance instead of administration salaries and bonuses.

I’m not a expert on power delivery economics, but I can’t imagine it’s cheap to maintain indestructible and flawless rural power lines 24/7. Can PG&E do more, certainly; at some point would the cost of electricity be too high, also yes.

If you have sources on unreasonable administrative overhead or executive bonuses, I’d be happy to see them.

One summer we had a couple of power outages due to a vulture’s wing span causing a short and blowing a line fuse. The evidence was the smoldering turkeys on the ground below the pole. Another time was a mylar helium filled party balloon that caused a short, blew the line fuse and started a fire at the base of the power pole. These are two incident types that were not due to PG&E negligence, it might be that PG&E should not provide power to high fire hazard areas so that the rate payers do not fund high risk consequences.

If PG&E had buried the lines after the first time it would have been tough for the second vulture to cause a short.

If PG&E had buried the lines ”  $2.5 million to $3.75 million per mile paid for by who?