Division Temporary System Improvement Outages FAQ

What’s going on? Why is PGE scheduling temporary system improvement outages?

Beginning Oct. 21, we will start replacing aging power poles and power lines in the area around Southeast 50th Avenue and Division Street. This work will strengthen the energy grid and improve reliable service for this growing neighborhood. To safely complete these important upgrades and energize the new lines, we will need to temporarily interrupt power on the areas shown on the map.

When will these temporary service interruptions happen?

We’re planning system improvement outages for the week of Oct. 28. If you’re in the highlighted area on  Division Systems Upgrades map, you will likely be without power for a brief period on just one night. However, there are many factors involved, so your event could last several hours. We will notify businesses and homes in advance of outages; you will receive a letter with a schedule for your address.

What areas will be affected?

Several blocks along Southeast 50th Avenue and Division Street will experience a system improvement outage. See the highlighted areas on the Division System Upgrades map.

How will I know when my power will be out?

If your home or business is located in the affected area, we will send you advance notice with a schedule of the outage planned for your address.

How long will my power be off?

We plan to do this work at night to minimize the impact to homes and business as much as possible. There will be a series of system improvement outages in the area highlighted on the Division System Upgrades map. If you’re in that area, you will likely be without power for a brief period on just one night. However, there are many factors involved, so your event could last several hours.

Why does PGE have to turn off the power to complete this work?

Safety is our top concern. We will be transferring power from the existing, aging power lines to new lines that can be expected to serve customers for decades to come.

To complete this switch, we need to deenergize the grid in the immediate area and perform some minor modifications to the system before we can fully restore power. This careful approach helps prevent overloading the system, and ensures crew and public safety.

Can I use a portable generator during this service interruption?

Yes, but use extreme caution and follow all generator safety rules to protect yourself, others and your equipment. Never try to “back feed” using a portable generator. Back feeding is attempting to power your whole business or building by using a doctored extension cord to plug a generator into an electrical outlet. This is extremely dangerous! It can not only ruin your wiring and start a fire, it can also accidentally energize a power line our crews believe is safe to work on. An unsuspecting PGE worker could be seriously injured or killed. Only plug an individual appliance into the receptacle outlet of the generator. Always operate your generator outside, well away from doors and windows.

How were the dates and times selected for these system improvement outages?

We recognize system improvement outages are inconvenient, and we are scheduling the work to minimize disruptions. We applied for the proper permits for night work to accommodate for the morning commute times.

Should I call PGE when my power goes out that day?

No, if you are in the affected area shown on the map, there is no need to call PGE to report the outage since this is a planned event. We appreciate your patience as we complete this important system upgrade.

Did PGE get approval from governmental agencies for this work

PGE worked closely with multiple City of Portland bureaus to identify the dates, timing and logistics to minimize disruption and safety concerns surrounding these planned service interruptions.

How should residents and businesses of the area prepare

Even though we anticipate power will be interrupted only briefly, we encourage everyone in the affected areas to take some simple steps to prepare.

  • Keep outage essentials on hand
    • Flashlights and extra batteries.
    • Car chargers for cell phones, laptops or tablets.
  • Protect electrical equipment
    • Wherever possible, turn off electrical equipment — lights, electronics, computers, stoves — just prior to the scheduled outage. This helps protect your equipment from the risk of a power surge and also reduces initial load on the electrical system when power comes back online.
    • Protect computers and other equipment with high-quality surge protection.
    • Prevent data loss with automatic backup programs and battery backup systems.
  • Minimize food loss
    • Keep refrigerators closed when the power is off — food will stay cold for up to four hours. A freezer will protect food for about 24 to 48 hours. Check foodsafety.gov for more information.
  • Additional tips for businesses
    • Once you receive your outage schedule, please give your staff, customers or apartment residents advance notice that the power will be off temporarily.
    • If your building has standby generators or emergency lighting, check now to make sure the systems are working properly.
    • Make sure fire alarms are set to not notify emergency responders during the outage.
    • Verify that dry-pipe fire sprinkler systems have the standby power they need.
    • Arrange manual backups for work performed on computers and cash registers (for example, a lockbox with sufficient cash).
    • Ensure electronic door locks, including gates and doors on parking garages, can be bypassed manually.
    • You might also want to consider rescheduling the delivery of perishables that may normally occur on the outage date.

What about traffic lights and other safety issues?

During these system improvement outages, street lights and traffic signals will temporarily be out of service. Please use caution when traveling through this area during an outage.