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PGE employees strive to provide our customers with electric service they can count on. Compared with utilities nationwide, we’re in the top decile for reliability according to a 2011 Edison Electric Institute benchmark.

PREVENTING OUTAGES Designing resilient systems

Reliability is integrated into the design and operation of our systems. Our substations have built-in redundancies that exceed minimum standards, helping us prevent and recover faster from outages.

We also use protective systems to help minimize momentary system fluctuations. This is critical for our high-technology customers who rely on us to detect and quickly clear even minor disturbances before sensitive technical equipment is affected.

Smart power

Smart grid technologies — from meters that communicate back to PGE to energy storage projects — are laying the foundation for more reliable, affordable and efficient energy in the future. Learn more about the smart grid and take a video tour of the Salem Smart Power Center in Salem, Ore.

Smart meters are the foundation of the smart grid. Linked wirelessly between our customers and PGE, the meters enable two-way data communications to quickly pinpoint outages, speed repairs and provide customers insight into energy use through tools like Energy TrackerSM

. ENERGY STORAGE Demonstrating the possibilities AVERAGE OUTAGE

On average in 2013, each of our customers experienced less than one outage or momentary blink in service. Customers who did experience outages were without power for approximately two hours. See details in the Key Metrics Summary.

As part of the five-year Pacific Northwest Smart Grid Demonstration Project, we constructed the Salem Smart Power Center to test how to store and better integrate variable renewable energy sources like solar and wind into the electrical grid. Working with the Bonneville Power Administration and other partners, the center is testing smart technologies to create a highly reliable “micro-grid” serving residential and commercial customers in Salem.

Finding the lowest-price power

Planting the right trees Trees save energy by shading our homes, provide habitat for wildlife, clean the air and beautify our neighborhoods. They’re also the leading cause of storm-related power outages in our service area. Even without a storm, falling limbs from sick or poorly maintained trees can cause outages.

PGE maintains a rigorous tree-maintenance program and educates customers to help them plant the right tree in the right place.


In 2013, we completed a new state-of-the-art Readiness Center in Clackamas, Ore., designed to withstand the largest earthquake predicted for our region. In the event of a disaster or other emergency, this facility will allow us to maintain critical company operations — such as power operations, system controls, data center, emergency operations and security — that support service to our customers.

10 | 2013 Sustainability Report

The Salem Smart Power Center also demonstrates that it’s possible to purchase low-cost energy and store it for use later when energy costs go up — creating savings we could pass on to our customers.

It’s not yet economic to implement this kind of energy storage on a large scale, but the demonstration project has opened up exciting possibilities for the future.

Our Tree Selection

Guide helps customers find trees suitable for planting in parking strips and areas near overhead power lines.

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