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Power goes out for about 1,300 Palo Alto Utilities customers

Original post made on Dec 27, 2022

A power outage disrupted service for about 1,300 Palo Alto Utilities customers this afternoon. The number of affected residents and businesses has since dropped to about 45.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, December 27, 2022, 2:36 PM

Comments (9)

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on Dec 27, 2022 at 4:38 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

Oh, the irony. "Palo Alto Utilities plans to share updated information on its Twitter account and at" I don't know about everybody else but without electricity my internet box doesn't work.

And this is precious too: "The agency has requested the community not call 911 or nonemergency numbers for the Police and Fire departments to report the outage or ask questions about the service disruption, according to a Nixle alert. Police advised the public to refer to the Utilities Department's Twitter account and electric outage map."

Yes, we have no bananas.

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 27, 2022 at 4:51 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

So how's CPAU doing with giving refunds to customers who've lost power? Given size and frequency of all their rate hikes, they can certainly afford to "give back" to the community.

So glad Fiber's a higher priority than providing reliable electrical service.

Posted by Bystander
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2022 at 9:21 am

Bystander is a registered user.

We had a serious storm. This was the only reported power outage in Palo Alto. It is unrelated to the storm, presumably.

Is this a first for Palo Alto?

Posted by Annette
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 28, 2022 at 11:23 am

Annette is a registered user.

@Online Name makes a good point about the reliability of the electrical grid. How is adequacy measured? Does CPAU have the equivalent of a comp plan that quantifies the capacity of the various components of our infrastructure? Is capacity taken into consideration when development and growth and all-electric plans are on the Council agenda so that fully informed decisions are made? I think it would be great if the City Manager's comments at CC included important information about the state of Palo Alto's infrastructure. A report card, if you will.

It's been my experience that the workers who respond to calls and fix problems are competent and do a good job so I don't doubt the workforce. I do wonder, though, what size population the systems they work on are designed to support. Are we in good shape or are we rushing towards a point in time at which critical inadequacies are exposed via failures?

Posted by Online Name
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Dec 28, 2022 at 12:30 pm

Online Name is a registered user.

@Annette, you raise valid points. It wasn't too long ago blogger Diana Diamond tried -- and was stonewalled -- to get answers to those very questions for months and years (if you search her blogs here.

Speaking of comp plans for CPAU where its head makes more than the President of the US, I'm curious how their raises are computed -- amount of new revenues raised from rate hikes? poutage days? number of complaints? ability to stonewall legitimate questions raised by the media and taxpayers??

Here's just one of Ms Diampnd's attempts to get answers from our highly paid leaders":

Web Link
Is Palo Alto Utilities ready for our increasing demand for more electricity?
Uploaded: Sep 26, 2022
The city wants Palo Altans to have all-electric homes. Can the Utilities Dept. even handle an increased demand?

"That’s the question I’ve been asking several city officials.

Their answers: We’re working on it. We are evaluating it. We will have a report out in a couple of months or so...":

Posted by MyFeelz
a resident of another community
on Dec 28, 2022 at 12:38 pm

MyFeelz is a registered user.

During the storm that Bystander mentioned, it got so dark in the middle of the day I thought for sure one of three things (or all three) could happen.

1. Loss of power
2. Flooding
3. Earthquake

I have my go bags ready just like last summer. It seems like with climate change there is surely a day when we will be more affected on the Peninsula than we have been over the years. It doesn't hurt to be ready for anything.

Posted by Consider Your Options.
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2022 at 1:56 pm

Consider Your Options. is a registered user.

Here's the "crisis" in a nutshell: At 1:45pm 1,300 customers lost power. By 3:18 pm (less than two hours later), only 45 customers were still affected. By 7:33pm, 5 customers were still waiting for service restoration. By next morning, all customers had power again. That, by the way, is pretty fast restoration compared to other places I have lived.

My daughter lives in Oregon where she is served by PG&E. Last year during a storm she and thousands of other households lost power for TEN days. That was one of several outages last winter there. Yesterday, she lost power for six hours which means she also lost heat in a place where it is VERY cold (unlike here).

Wherever you live, YOU should be prepared for the occasional outage. I'm sorry you were inconvenienced, but electricity service is NEVER a constant ANYWHERE. Stuff happens. That's life. Always have some food you can prepare without electricity. Maintain a supply of charged flashlights and candles. That's what grown-ups do. They prepare to take care of themselves and their families through occasional hardships. If you are power-dependent for work or health needs, have a backup system. If you cannot afford to do this, work with local government who have systems in place to help you get covered. Do all of this in advance of the inevitable power outage...because they happen, no matter where you live or who your provider is.

Posted by Larry
a resident of Downtown North
on Dec 28, 2022 at 5:08 pm

Larry is a registered user.

>> So glad Fiber's a higher priority than providing reliable electrical service.

Thats's right. This outage would never have happened if the City Council hadn't voted to expand the fiber project. The transformer must have read about the vote in the newspaper, become despondent, then committed suicide in protest.

Posted by eileen
a resident of College Terrace
on Dec 28, 2022 at 8:34 pm

eileen is a registered user.

We were one of the five houses with no power. The city had five or six crews working on the problem right outside our house on California Ave and Princeton. They worked tirelessly trying to find the problem and finally replaced the transformer which was very old. It actually was fun to camp out with candles, a gas fireplace, and games. My grandkids loved it! Happy New Year!

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