March 23, 2018

Meet a Resilient Business: PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) provides gas and electricity to 16 million Californians. To put that number in perspective, nearly 1 out of every two people living in the state of California rely on PG&E.

So what happens to gas and electricity in the aftermath of a M 7.0 earthquake? How do companies like PG&E prepare today for an event that will happen at some unknown time in the future? For energy providers such as PG&E, actions are required now to manage the potential risk to the company’s energy infrastructure in the future. Building resiliency is linked to PG&E’s long-term success, business strategy, and operational objectives and actions.

How PG&E is Practicing Resiliency

For PG&E, resiliency means understanding the impacts of major disasters and climate change on its business and being prepared to get ahead of these events and withstand and rapidly recover from major service disruptions when they occur. These include near-term risks such as earthquakes, to longer-term risks such as rising temperatures and sea levels.

PG&E is not sitting idle, waiting for the next earthquake to strike, but instead is preparing now in order to outsmart disaster. This planning includes taking the following into consideration:

  • Impacts to PG&E Assets: Understanding how a natural disaster will impact company-owned and managed gas, electric and generation infrastructure.
  • “Upstream” Impacts to Critical Systems: How will regional gas and electric systems, suppliers, and water and telecommunications network be affected? What will water availability for hydroelectric operations look like? Will this have a ripple effect on PG&E’s ability to provide resilient service? Understanding and managing these interdependencies impact PG&E’s ability to continue service during and after major incidents.
  • “Downstream” Impacts to Customers and Communities: Recognizing the important interdependency between PG&E’s resilience and the resilience of the customers and communities it serves, and vice versa, is essential to preparedness. The degree to which communities assess their vulnerabilities and plan for resilience contributes to the overall resilience of PG&E’s service.

Thank you PG&E for all you have done, and continue to do, to be a resilient business.