CPUC takes action to hold PG&E accountable for shutoffs

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – The California Public Utilities Commission is taking action to hold PG&E accountable following multiple Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

They are focusing on public health and safety to decrease fire risks from the utility infrastructure, risks from power loss and disrupting the communities. 

A number of steps will be taken by the CPUC to be sure that what happened with the power shutoffs this year will not happen again in the future. 

  • Launch a formal investigation in the next 30 days to determine if the events occurred were in compliance with regulations and requirements, and if there were any violations.
  • Reexamine how the utility companies are using the power shutoffs and make sure they are not being abused.
  • Ensure that customers are not charged for services during the blackouts. 
  • Direct the utility to expand their 2020 Wildfire Mitigation Plan to increase the safe performance of utilities. 
  • Put together a panel of experts to identify projects that can be implemented in the next few months to help prevent another PSPS. 

“The state cannot continue to experience PSPS events on the scope and scale Californians have experienced this month, nor should Californians be subject to the poor execution that PG&E, in particular, has exhibited,” said President Batjer. “Through the actions announced today, as well as other steps under our regulatory purview, the CPUC will demand that utilities prepare for and execute PSPS events in a way that greatly reduces impacts on Californians.”

Governor Newsom also spoke about the penalties PG&E could face if they violate any of these new rulings.

“The PUC is also looking to fine $1,000 a day per incident if those protocols are breached as it relates to the commitments that are made by the three largest investor-owned utilities and our state officials and the PUC will be aggressive in that major investigation and aggressive in enforcing those proticals,” Governor Newsom said.

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