Who keeps the lights on in a government shutdown?

Sponsored by

The Department of Energy (DOE) and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) continue to operate under "normal conditions," according to officials from the two agencies.

An extended shutdown could force a reduction of staff at the two agencies that work together to ensure the security and reliability of the nation's electric grid, according to the Bipartisan Policy Center.

FERC's shutdown plan lists six activities as essential, including "continued monitoring of the reliability of the bulk power system and threats to energy infrastructures under the Commission’s jurisdiction."

That includes real-time operations of the bulk power system and a 24/7 emergency message notification system to alert the five FERC commissioners in the case of emergencies. The plan allocates four employees to this function who "will perform a minimum level of these oversight roles, to monitor for urgent matters."

Of course, none of this directly affects the state and local agencies and nongovernmental organizations that operate the grid. They are the ones that generate and transmit electricity while DOE and FERC monitor, coordinate, regulate and research.

Sponsored by

Get All the Electric Light & Power and POWERGRID International to Your Inbox

Subscribe to Electric Light & Power or POWERGRID International and the email newsletter today at no cost and receive the latest news and information.

Related Articles

Be careful when relying on insurance coverage to contain utilities’ wildfire risks

02/19/2019 The recent wildfires in California have been devastating to life and property. Plaintiffs that lost property are attributi...

Cybersecurity Panel Urges Collaboration and Vigilance on Grid

02/06/2019

The DistribuTECH panel asserted that NERC CIP is simply a necessary baseline that cyber-aware companies need to exceed to ...

Top 5 disruptions utility execs are probably worrying about right now

02/04/2019 If you are one of the almost half-million people who work in the utility industry, no doubt you know that the industry is ...

It’s all routine vegetation management until PG&E goes bankrupt

01/28/2019 California utilities are in quite a predicament. The deadly 2018 wildfires, most likely caused by utility equipment, have ...