PG&E Power Shutdown Credits Coming To Customers
Sonora, CA — PG&E this week agreed to a one-time credit for both residential and businesses impacted by one of its power shutoffs this month.
The outage to be credited is the Oct. 9th PSPS. Although not attributing the bill reduction to political pressure, the utility has agreed to Governor Gavin Newsom’s request to credit residential customers $100 and business customers $250, as reported here.
Corporation CEO and President Bill Johnson acknowledged, “This is not an industry-standard practice, nor approved as part of a tariff, but we believe it is the right thing to do for our customers in this case, given the challenges with our website and call center communications.”
Customers are not required to do anything to claim the credit. Instead, they will find it listed as a customer satisfaction adjustment on their next bill. The company also notes that the ultimate funding for this singular event will come from shareholders and not customers.
Johnson went on to state, “We recognize the hardship caused by Public Safety Power Shutoffs in general and how those hardships were exacerbated by our website and call center communications issues related to the Oct. 9 PSPS event that impacted 738,000 customers.” Johnson continued, “We are constantly working to execute these safety shutoffs more effectively while prioritizing public safety. It’s important to remember that the sole purpose of these power shutoffs is to reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfire in the communities that we serve.”
Regarding whether credits will be offered for future power cut-offs, Johnson did not rule it out advising that the company is open to having a policy discussion with state regulators and others on how it can further help customers manage during these types of safety shutoffs.