California regulator sanctions utility over power outages

Posted at 3:24 PM, Oct 14, 2019

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - California's utility regulator is issuing a series of sanctions against Pacific Gas and Electric for what it calls "failures in execution" during the largest planned power shut-off in state history to avoid wildfires.

California Public Utilities Commission President Marybel Batjer says the utility must have a goal of restoring power within 12 hours instead of its current 48 hours, minimize the scale of outages and improve communication.

PG&E last week took the unprecedented step of cutting power to more than 700,000 customers, affecting nearly 2 million Californians. The company did it because of dangerous wind forecast but acknowledged that its execution was poor.

Its website frequently crashed, and many people said they did not know the power was going out.

PG&E didn't immediately comment on the sanctions.

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