PG&E slammed by California Public Utilities Commission following shutoffs

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — The California Public Utilities Commission’s emergency meeting turned into a public shaming of Pacific Gas and Electric for the company’s performance during the public safety power shutoff.

“You guys failed on so many levels on pretty simple stuff,” President Marybel Batjer said. “Creating liaisons, setting up CRC’s understanding your website needed to scale”

PG&E Corporation CEO and President Bill Johnson maintained the shutoff was the right thing to do to reduce the risk of wildfires, but he did admit the company stumbled when it came to website and call center failures and general communication.

“I acknowledge these critical errors, they are not acceptable and they cannot happen again,” Johnson said. “So to our customers who were impacted by shutoffs and those who didn’t get timely accurate information about them, I apologize for hardship and lack of information and will let you know this cannot happen again.”

Johnson told commissioners more shutoffs are likely but steps are being taken to improve communications and eventually to narrow the scope of shutoffs.

But commissioners were dissatisfied with his answers and tried to pin Johnson down as when the company will be ready to abandon power shutoffs as an option.

Also, PG&E officials reiterated they have no plans to reimburse customers impacted by the public safety power shutoff.