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PCG PR H - Pacific Gas And Electric Co News Story

$22.31 -0.2  -0.8%

Sector
Utilities
Size
Large Cap
Market Cap £4.22bn
Enterprise Value £30.19bn
Revenue £13.51bn
Position in Universe th / 6858

UPDATE 1-California governor demands PG&E accountability for mismanaging power shutoffs

Tue 15th October, 2019 1:20am
(Adds corrective actions ordered by state regulators)
    LOS ANGELES, Oct 14 (Reuters) - California Governor Gavin
Newsom said on Monday that utility Pacific Gas and Electric Co
should be held accountable for mismanaging last week's
widespread power shutoffs and urged the company to provide
credits or rebates to affected customers.
    The utility, a unit of PG&E Corp  PCG.N , cut off
electricity to more than 730,000 homes and workplaces in
northern California last week in a bid to reduce wildfire risks
posed by extremely windy, dry weather.
    The precautionary shutdown, unprecedented in its scope, has
been widely criticized as being haphazardly conducted on too
large a scale with insufficient advance notice to affected
customers.
    On Thursday, the governor said the power outage followed
years of mismanagement by the utility and branded its handling
as "unacceptable." PG&E Chief Executive Bill Johnson publicly
acknowledged that day that his company had fallen short in its
preparations for the outage.
    On Monday, Newsom said he had sent a letter to California
Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer, confirming
that the agency will conduct a comprehensive inquiry and review
of PG&E's planning, implementation and decision-making process
failures. (https://bit.ly/35zARTI)
    "Californians should not pay the price for decades of PG&E's
greed and neglect," Newsom said. "We will continue to hold PG&E
accountable to make radical changes – prioritizing the safety of
Californians and modernizing its equipment."
    Newsom also urged the company to provide affected customers
an automatic credit or rebate of $100 per residential customer
and $250 per small business as compensation.
    Separately, Batjer sent PG&E executives an eight-page letter
on Monday directing the utility outlining seven "major areas
where immediate corrective actions are required," the commission
said in a statement.
    "Failures in execution, combined with the magnitude of this
(power shutdown) event, created an unacceptable situation that
should never be repeated," Batjer wrote.
    "Loss of power is not a mere inconvenience - it endangers
lives and property, especially those individuals who are reliant
on power for medical reasons," the letter said.
    Several of the corrective actions the commission ordered
dealt with website crashes and an overwhelming surge in call
center activity the utility experienced during the power
shutdown. 
    PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January 2019, citing potential
civil liabilities in excess of $30 billion from major wildfires
linked to its transmission wires and other equipment.
 urn:newsml:reuters.com:*:nL2N26V23B     

 (Reporting by Steve Gorman in Los Angeles and Shanti S Nair in
Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin)
 ((ShantiS.Nair@thomsonreuters.com; +1 646 223 8780 Ext: 7208;))
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