Pacific Gas and Electric is responding to complaints from the city of Fresno and the building industry that the energy giant is too slow to power up new home developments.
In a statement released Wednesday, Mayor Jerry Dyer and city councilmen Tyler Maxwell and Garry Bredefeld said progress has been made in talks between PG&E and the California Building Industry Association.
Last week, Dyer, Bredefeld, local developers and others held a news conference about the consequences of PG&E’s problems. A lack of electrical transformers and labor to install them has left new home developments sitting in the dark. Potential homeowners are at risk of losing lower mortgage rates as they wait to move in, builders said.
PG&E blamed supply chain issues.
Some city leaders are pushing the idea of a municipal electric utility that would bypass PG&E. A motion to hire a consultant to explore the possibility was delayed to the Dec. 1 City Council meeting.
Even with the progress, Dyer plans to move forward with the consultant.
“This agreement between PG&E and the Building Industry does nothing to address the intolerable rate increases that continue to burden our residents and business owners in the valley. I am not interested in acquiring PG&E assets, but I am interested in finding ways to improve services and lower utility rates,” Dyer told GV Wire.
PG&E To Hire More, Make Deal
A group of city and other local leaders met with PG&E executives Monday and Tuesday this week to discuss the electrification logjam. Another meeting is scheduled for tomorrow at City Hall.
Meanwhile Dyer, Bredefeld and Maxwell released a joint statement this morning heralding progress in discussions between PG&E and the local building industry.
“PG&E will reallocate $86 million to bring furloughed independent third-party contractors back online with the goal of providing, before the end of the current calendar year, electric power to any home the buyer for which has a mortgage rate lock in jeopardy of expiring unless PG&E takes immediate action to provide electric power,” the statement said.
The utility also said that a Korean manufacturer has been approved as an additional transformer supplier to “bring relief from the present acute shortage” of the critical equipment, according to the statement. Deliveries are expected to begin in January.
“This is just the start. There are many more issues PG&E must improve upon for our residents and businesses, and we will ensure that happens,” Dyer, Maxwell and Bredefeld said.
Mike Prandini, with the Fresno/Madera chapter of the BIA, is optimistic.
“We got that commitment and an ongoing commitment to improve its service delivery,” he said.