Livermore residents struggle with excessive heat, power outages

Despite the hot weather, there were no rolling power outages on Tuesday. Cal ISO said Californians conserved enough energy to keep demand from exceeding supply. However, many Bay Area residents are still dealing with outages that are heat-related.

Late Tuesday, Cal ISO declared a State 2 emergency warning people rotating blackouts were imminent. However, that’s as far as it went after consumers conserved and demand declined. Still, not everyone had their power on.

At the height of Tuesday’s triple digit heat in Livermore, Shaun Chaban was charging his phone in his car and keeping his elderly dog cool after the power went out for the third day in a row.

“There’s some frustrated people here, people that aren't getting work done, people that aren’t getting schoolwork done,” said Chaban.

Since early Sunday, he and his neighbors on the city’s northwest side have been dealing with intermittent outages lasting for several hours. He said, it’s forcing them to leave their homes during this pandemic to seek relief.

“You are jumping into anything that has air conditioning like your car, Costco, Target,” said Chaban.

Chaban’s neighbor 11-year-old Bria Lopez is worried about school.

“I can’t log into my school account and my teacher keeps asking me to try and see my classes but I can't so it's really hard,” said Lopez.

PG&E cited equipment failure caused by the heatwave. Some residents in Livermore are not only dealing with unannounced outages but were notified they could be subject to a rolling blackout

Luckily, none of those were triggered Tuesday night. Cal ISO noted high wind energy production and consumer conservation kept the electricity flowing.

“The customers, the energy users, the companies, they all responded,” said Steve Berberich, Cal ISO CEO.

“The last time this type of power outage happened was two decades ago,” said Senior Energy Analyst Mark Specht.

Specht said rolling outages are rare and it’s too early to tell if this week’s issues were caused by poor planning by grid operators.

“We understand that it’s extremely frustrating when customers lose power,” said PG&E Spokesman Jeff Smith. “We want to keep our customers energized.”

PG&E has set up a tool on its web site where customers can type in their address and see if their area is scheduled for a rotating outage should it be necessary.

In another part of Livermore, Jeffrey Collins has been without power for four days. He’s relying on a generator and is demanding answers.

“Is it poor design, is it poor maintenance, some kind of lack of upgrades because 100+ degrees are normal for the city of Livermore,” said Collins.

Cal ISO has warned rolling blackouts could occur Wednesday with another day of hot weather.