Gov. Gavin Newsom criticized PG&E for its performance during the largest planned power outage in California history to avoid wildfires and urged the utility to compensate affected customers with a bill credit or rebate worth $100 for residential customers or $250 for small businesses.

Newsom said Monday that the shutoffs affected too many customers for too long, and it is clear PG&E implemented them “with astounding neglect and lack of preparation.”

PUC President: ‘Unacceptable Situation’

In addition, California’s top utility regulator blasted Pacific Gas and Electric for “failures in execution” that “created an unacceptable situation that should never be repeated.”

The agency ordered a series of corrective actions, including a goal of restoring power within 12 hours, not the utility’s current 48-hour goal.

In a letter to PG&E CEO Bill Johnson, California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer wrote: “The scope, scale, complexity, and overall impact to people’s lives, businesses, and the economy of this action cannot be understated,”

PG&E Acknowledges Mistakes

Johnson responded with a letter of his own Monday.

“We know there are areas where we fell short of our commitment to serving our customers during this unprecedented event, both in our operations and in our customer communications, and we look forward to learning from these agencies how we can improve,” he wrote.

Johnson acknowledged in a news conference last week that PG&E was “not adequately prepared.”

Newsom has also criticized PG&E for its performance during the outage, blaming what he called decades of mismanagement, underinvestment and lousy communication with the public.

 

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