Lawmakers discuss blackout compensation to PG&E customers


SACRAMENTO (KRON) – After last week’s blackout, Governor Newsom demanded PG&E to compensate customers who were affected. 

While the California Public Utilities Commission digs into PG&E for how it handled last week’s power shutoffs, lawmakers are stepping in with proposals on how customers should be compensated in future blackouts.

“PG&E has a huge financial incentive to overdo it on blackouts,” State Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, said. 

State Senator Scott Wiener is proposing legislation to limit planned blackouts.

The utility under scrutiny by critics claiming last week’s big blackout was a way for PG&E to eliminate wildfire liability risk.

Wiener’s bill SB378 would require the CPUC to create a process for electric customers to recover costs accrued during a power shut off.

“The goal is to re-balance those incentives so that PG&E isn’t just erring on the side of more blackouts and bigger blackouts, so the bill will allow people to seek compensation for their business that had to close or damage they had to sustain,” Wiener said.

The bill is gaining momentum as Governor Newsom demands PG&E reimburse customers affected by the recent power shutoffs.

PG&E officials continued to defend their decision on Wednesday.

A spokesman said the company could not determine whether customers would be compensated until the CPUC has reviewed the event.

The CPUC has called for an emergency meeting on Friday with PG&E’s top executives.

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