Newsom: PG&E agrees to compensate customers affected by blackouts

California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced on Tuesday, that Pacific Gas and Electric will begin the process of crediting customers who experienced service disruptions during its planned shutoff events. 

Newsom has slammed the utility in the past, accusing the company of taking advantage of customers and prioritizing the interest of its public shareholders rather than the safety of its customers.  

He demanded the company be held accountable and urged PG&E to give affected customers an automatic credit or rebate. Residential customers would get $100 and small businesses would receive $250 in compensation for what they had to endure. 

“Californians should not pay the price for decades of PG&E’s greed and neglect,” said Gov. Newsom in an earlier 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 the wake of yet another Public Safety Power Shutoff, Newsom said the electric company's CEO has agreed to offer "some" rebates, something he regards as unprecedented. 

"This is significant because utilities in the past have never credited customers for these disruptions," he said. 

PG&E CEO and President Bill Johnson confirmed the reimbursement would be for the Oct. 9 power shutoff. 

"We have carefully considered the Governor's request to provide reimbursement for our customers impacted by the Oct. 9 PSPS and we have agreed to move forward with a one-time bill credit for customers impacted by that event," Johnson said in part from a company statement

The credit is only for Oct. 9 because that was when PG&E's website was frequently unavailable to customers seeking information on the impact of the outages. In addition, call centers were overwhelmed. The utility acknowledged their shortfalls in these communications issues. PG&E is calling the credit a "customer satisfaction adjustment." 

The utility said customers do not need to take action and will receive the credit adjustment automatically to their account.  

You can read more details about the bill credit here.