Rotating Outages Terminated; Stage 2 Emergency Still in Effect

March 19, 2001

March 19, 2001

ROSEMEAD, Calif., March 19, 2001, 8:30 p.m.-The California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO) has terminated the Stage 3 Emergency and the controlled rotating outages that were in effect from about noon until 7:15 p.m. today.  A Stage 2 Emergency remains in effect until midnight.

Overall, electrical service was temporarily interrupted for more than 430,000 SCE customers in small portions of communities across SCE's 50,000-square-mile service area for up to one hour.  Customers of Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric were affected as well.

"We appreciate everyone's cooperation during this temporary crisis," said Stephen E. Frank, SCE chairman, president and CEO.  "We regret the personal inconvenience caused by the rotating outages, but the action is a standard, last-resort emergency procedure mandated by Cal-ISO when the state's power reserves are critically low.   The controlled outages helped protect the electrical system throughout California and kept power running for most consumers."

"I also commend the utility operators of the distribution grid who managed the controlled outages in a professional, orderly and timely manner to minimize inconvenience to our customers."

With operating reserves expected to be low tomorrow, customers are strongly urged to step up their electricity conservation efforts.  Businesses, especially industrial and large commercial customers, can help the situation by reducing air conditioning and office lighting, turning off all auxiliary or redundant machinery where possible, and by shifting or staggering operations, if feasible.

Today's rotating outages were begun at noon after Cal-ISO, the nonprofit agency that manages 75% of California's transmission power grid and secures power for most of the state's consumers, declared a "Stage 3 Emergency," signifying the state's energy reserves had fallen below 1.5%.  Cal-ISO is the nonprofit agency that manages most of California's transmission power grid and secures power supplies for the majority of the state's consumers.

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An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.