SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTVU) - Governor Newsom is demanding that PG&E be held accountable for the power shutoffs that left two million Californians without electricity last week.
Newsom wants the utility to give affected customers an automatic credit or rebate of $100 to residential customers and $250 for every small business as some compensation for what they had to endure.
“Californians should not pay the price for decades of PG&E’s greed and neglect,” said Governor Newsom in a press release. “PG&E’s mismanagement of the power shutoffs experienced last week was unacceptable. We will continue to hold PG&E accountable to make radical changes – prioritizing the safety of Californians and modernizing its equipment.”
In a letter to the utility's CEO William Johnson, Newsom said the rebate should be funded by shareholders, not ratepayers.
Johnson in his own letter in response to the governor's, said "We've received the Governor's letter and appreciate its intent-- to help make the State and all of us safer." He pointed out that no "catastrophic wildfires" started during the Oct. 9-13 Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). The CEO said PG&E worked with the Governor's Office of Emergency Serivices (Cal OES), California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and Cal Fire before and during the event.
"We also worked closely with county and local officials throughout the PSPS. 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," Johnson wrote.
Johnson stood by the utility's decision to shutoff power as a safety precaution.
The CPUC issued a series of sanctions against PG&E saying the electric company needs to restore power within 12 hours instead of 48.