SCE ‘Jeopardized Safety Of it Customers’ In Intentional Blackouts, Failed To Communicate And Overdid Outages, CPUC Judge Finds

Written by on April 22, 2021

Southern California Edison is going to get slapped hard by state regulators over its mishandling of those intentional blackouts … the PSPS events used to lessen the risk of fire danger.

SCE jeopardized the safety of customers … ruled Judge Regina DeAngelis..

KBUU News has obtained a proposed ruling from an administrative law judge at the California Public Utilities Commission …. a 310-page proposed decision.

In it … the judge levels scathing criticism against the local power company for overdoing it with the so-called PSPS events … Public Safety Power Shutoffs.

The judge cites Edison company failures such as accidentally turning off power to a hospital in Ventura County.

The judge said Edison’s performance was marred by inconsistencies, inaccuracies, and failure to account for backup power to enable telecommunications in more remote rural areas.

The power company had no plan for communicating with customers during a proactive power shutoff … because the power goes out.

The judge said Edison could not possibly claim to be in compliance with a state rule that they communicate with blacked out customers … as the company maintains.

As a result … SCE failed to comply with their obligation to promote safety … as set forth in Pub. Util. Code § 451.

In her strongly worded ruling … the judge said … and we quote … “It is difficult to comprehend why California’s largest electric utilities did not already have well-established systems in place for communications in the event of emergencies for all the entities defined as public safety partners … when the wildfire season approached in 2019.

“This is even more difficult to understand since the Commission started, as far back as at least 2012, alerting utilities of the need to coordinate with those types of entities to prepare for the possibility of proactive power shutoffs.”

End quote.

The proposed ruling has teeth.

Financial penalties for the past violations were deemed to hard to compute.

But the judge proposes that the Edison company has to forgo collecting electric rates in an amount equal to the sales lost due to intentional outages.

In other words … it appears that SCE would have to cut you bill by two dollars for every one dollar of missed power delivery.

All of this is a proposed decision … it goes out for comment and then an eventual vote by the Calif Pub Utilities Commission.

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