California bill would make utilities pay some blackout costs

Posted at 11:30 AM, Jan 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-23 14:32:18-05

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - A bill in the California Legislature would require electric companies to reimburse customers when the utilities turn off power to prevent wildfires.

Large electric utilities have been aggressively shutting off power for millions of customers ahead of windstorms.

The bill by state Sen. Scott Wiener would require them to reimburse customers and local governments for some costs.

It would also let regulators fine utilities if they determine the shutoffs were not reasonable and prudent.

A letter from PG&E to lawmakers says the bill would put customers and communities in a dangerous position by penalizing the utilities for deploying a public safety shutoff.