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Report a Power Outage
It is critical for us to be able to provide PG&E with an accurate report of outages and their impact on our community. If you have experienced an outage, please enter the details in the Power Outage Form. You can also use this form to report tree trimming and customer service problems.
BURLINGAME, Calif. - March 3, 2004 - Burlingamers Unwilling to Live with Blackouts (BULB) has announced that the average household in Burlingame experienced an 85 percent decrease in outages during 2003, compared to 2002. Statistics provided by Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) and monitored by BULB show that the average Burlingame customer suffered blackouts totaling 758 minutes during 2002, but only 116 minutes during 2003.
BULB credits the more reliable power system to its work with Pacific Gas & Electric PG&E managers during the past year. Since BULB and PG&E began meeting in early 2003, the utility has spent more than $2.4 million on improvements to circuits in Burlingame.
During severe storms that rattled windows and, on one evening, included thunder and lighting, Burlingame had far fewer outages than normal, according to Jeff Joy, director of operations, maintenance and construction for PG&E’s Peninsula Division. “The recent storms hit the area very hard, but very few outages occurred. Many of our line crews commented on the lack of storm-related damages,” Joy said.
In contrast, during 2002, Burlingame residents suffered frequent power outages, some of which lasted for days, that left schoolchildren in the dark, seniors shivering in apartments with inoperable elevators and homes flooded because sump pumps wouldn’t work.
“We are very pleased with the improved service,” said Burlingame City Councilwoman Terry Nagel, founder of BULB. “PG&E officials lived up to their promise to work hard on upgrading our circuits and we commend them.”
Burlingame experienced milder weather during 2003 than during 2002, but Burlingame’s improved PG&E service was not due to weather alone. In comparison, the average number of minutes a household in PG&E’s Peninsula Division lost power during 2003 was 132 minutes, compared to 454 minutes during 2002, a decrease of 71 percent. For the entire PG&E system, the average number of minutes a customer lost power during 2003 was 180 minutes, compared to 381 minutes in 2002, a decrease of 53 percent.
On Burlingame’s worst-performing circuit, the San Mateo 2102, which stretches up the east side of Highway 101 and across the north end of Burlingame, the average number of minutes
without power per household was a whopping 1,982 minutes during 2002 and just 308 minutes during 2003, a decrease of 84 percent. Joy said performance on that circuit would have been much better had there not been human errors on Nov. 22 and Nov. 26, 2003, that occurred during maintenance of a substation. The outage on the day before Thanksgiving alone blacked out 10,000 customers for four hours.
PG&E reports that the problematic San Mateo 2102 will be split into two circuits by late summer or early fall of this year, which should further improve power reliability. In addition, PG&E is taking a close look at two neighborhoods that BULB members say have more than their share of outages: the north side of Broadway near California Drive and the area east of El Camino around Walnut Avenue.
At BULB’s request, PG&E officials have agreed to report power reliability statistics to the City of Burlingame and BULB every quarter, and they will make a verbal presentation to the Burlingame City Council once a year.
“We will continue to watch the numbers,” said Nagel. She urged residents to report all outages, even brief flickers of lights, on the “BULB” page on her Web site at www.terrynagel.com or to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at (650) 347-3576. She also encouraged residents to report outages by calling PG&E at 1 (800) 743-5002. For momentary outages of less than five minutes, she said it’s best to call PG&E at 1 (800 743-5000. Another way to report outages to PG&E, after power is restored, is to fill out a form online at www.pge.com/contact_us/contact_us_form.jsp.
“The only way we can track progress is by obtaining accurate information about outages,” she noted.
Burlingame City Manager Jim Nantell has agreed to move the Power Outage Form now on Nagel’s Web site over to the city’s Web site in the coming months.
In addition to meeting every other month with BULB and reporting to the City Council on the alternate months during 2003 and early 2004, Nagel said PG&E: