The California Public Utilities Commission is proposing that three utility companies be fined a total of $22 million for their 2020 violations of protocols created for power shutoffs meant to avoid the sparking of wildfires.
In an effort to hold utilities companies accountable for safely implementing power shutoffs, the commission has proposed that shareholders of PG&E Co. pay $10 million, Southern California Edison pay $12 million, and San Diego Gas & Electric pay $24,000.
The public safety power shutoffs have involved utility companies temporarily turning off power to specific areas when extreme weather is expected that could cause a fire. However, utilities must follow certain guidelines before a shutoff.
In proposed administrative enforcement orders issued Wednesday, the commission found multiple violations of power shutoff guidelines.
In PG&E’s case, the proposed order cites inadequate notification to customers ahead of the shutoffs and also says that the utility “did not provide a thorough and detailed description of the quantitative factors in calling a PSPS event and why the de-energization event was the last resort.”
Under the orders, the utility companies can pay the fine and make the corrective actions within 30 days or request a hearing.