Energy

California regulator sanctions PG&E over power outages

Key Points
  • California's utility regulator is issuing a series of sanctions against PG&E for what it calls "failures in execution" during the largest planned power shut-off in state history.
  • PG&E cut power to more than 700,000 customers last week, affecting nearly 2 million Californians.
  • The company did it because of dangerous wind forecast but acknowledged that its execution was poor.
Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) workers remain at the scene of a three-alarm fire that started after a construction crew hit a gas line on February 7, 2019 in San Francisco, California.
Justin Sullivan | Getty Images

California's utility regulator is issuing a series of sanctions against PG&E for what it calls "failures in execution" during the largest planned power shut-off in state history to avoid wildfires.

California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer says the utility must have a goal of restoring power within 12 hours instead of its current 48 hours, minimize the scale of outages and improve communication.

PG&E last week took the unprecedented step of cutting power to more than 700,000 customers, affecting nearly 2 million Californians. The company did it because of dangerous wind forecast but acknowledged that its execution was poor.

Its website frequently crashed, and many people said they did not know the power was going out.

PG&E didn't immediately comment on the sanctions.

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PG&E power outage could cost the California economy more than $2 billion

Key Points
  • In an unprecedented move, PG&E enacted large-scale power cuts in Northern and central California as a preventative measure aimed at curbing wildfires.
  • In January, PG&E filed for bankruptcy protection, saying it's facing more than $30 billion in liabilities after it was determined that its power lines sparked last year's devastating Camp Fire.