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Utility Regulators Order Investigation Into PG&E Power Shutoffs

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Sonora, CA – In a unanimous vote, California regulator has ordered an investigation into a dozen deliberate Pacific Gas & Electric Co. (PG&E) power outages that left millions in the dark last month.

The California Public Utilities Commission cast their votes after hearing testimony from people pleading for regulation, planning, and leadership. The top utility regulator is ordering the utility to show why it should not be fined for violations related to its electricity shutoffs in October. Each violation of state requirements related to power shutdowns by utilities could carry a $100,000 penalty.

There has been plenty of criticism from public officials and customers. The complaints center around the utility not coordinating well enough with local governments and failing to notify residents and businesses about the shutdowns.

PG&E initiated four blackouts in October, one that was unprecedented and left nearly 2.5 million people without electricity and involved the Mother Lode as detailed here. Customers in parts of Calaveras County have dealt with four power shutoffs while Tuolumne County was involved in three.