SDG&E

COUNTY RESIDENTS ASKED TO TAKE PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFF SURVEY

By Miriam Raftery

July 3, 2021 (San Diego) -- The San Diego County Office of Emergency Services is asking all County residents to fill out a survey about the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) program.  The SDG&E program to shut off power during high fire-risk conditions has sparked controversy across the backcountry among residents left without electricity to power their homes, businesses, wells pumps, and other vital needs. The deadline to complete the survey is July 13.

The survey asks residents whether they received adequate notification of such outages and whether they experienced financial losses, among other details – the first step toward documenting impacts of the program and potentially leading to changes.

SDG&E LAUNCHES NEW MATCHING FUND PROGRAM FOR TEACHERS TO SUPPORT ANTI-RACISM EDUCATION AT LOCAL SCHOOLS

Local teachers invited to request resources that promote anti-racism through the DonorsChoose platform

Source:  SDG&E

June 22, 2021 (San Diego) - Over the past year, teachers across our region and the nation have had many teaching moments related to racial and social justice. To support educators’ ongoing efforts to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in their classrooms and at their schools, San Diego Gas & Electric has established a new grant program with $250,000 in shareholder funding. Teachers who request anti-racism learning materials through the nonprofit crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose, will have donations to their pro jects matched with $2 for every $1 that they raise. receive two dollars in matching funds for every dollar they raise.

ACTIVISTS URGE CITY TO REJECT UTILITY FRANCHISE DEAL WITH SDG&E

Some experts say ratepayers could be on hook for up to $20 under
loophole in proposed law
 
By Miriam Raftery
 
June 5, 2021 (San Diego) – On Tuesday, the San Diego City Council will have its second reading of a proposed utility franchise agreement with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). But a coalition of public interest,  environmental and racial justice groups are calling on the Council to overturn its earlier 6-3 approval of the plan. Only four votes are needed to block the agreement, since a supermajority of two-thirds is required for passage.

SDG&E CUSTOMERS TO RECEIVE BILL CREDIT IN APRIL, AUGUST & SEPTEMBER

California Climate Credit helps offset bills by a total of $87

Source:  SDG&E

March 24, 2021 (San Diego) - San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) residential customers will receive a break on their utility bills in the coming months, thanks to the California Climate Credit program, which is part of the state’s efforts to fight climate change. In April, natural gas customers will see their bill reduced by $17.86. This summer, SDG&E electricity customers will also see their bills offset by $34.60 in climate credits in both August and September (or a total of $69.20), when energy use typically goes up due to hot weather.

SDG&E WINS APPROVAL TO ELIMINATE HIGH USAGE CHARGE

Company filed application in 2018 asking regulators to get rid of state-mandated charge and provide bill relief to customers

Source: SDG&E

 

March 15, 2021 (San Diego) -- San Diego Gas & Electric customers will no longer have to worry about getting hit with the state-mandated High Usage Charge (HUC) – a substantially higher price for electricity that kicks in for customers once their energy usage exceeds a certain threshold.

30,000 AT RISK OF POWER SHUTOFFS DEC. 23-24 DUE TO RED FLAG WARNING

By Miriam Raftery

December 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E has notified around 30,000 customers that their power could be shut off due to high fire danger.  The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for parts of Southern California due to possible strong winds from 8 a.m. Wednesday through 12 p.m. Thursday, Christmas Eve. The communities at risk range from El Cajon east to Campo, north to Escondido and mountain areas such as Julian, and as far south as Potrero near the border.

The threat of losing electricity in mid-winter during Christmas week is disheartening for backcountry residents, many of whom have stocked up refrigerators and freezers for holiday feasts. ECM has received complaints from residents who report SDG&E refused to reimburse them for food spoiled during other recent outages. Coming at a time when many are without jobs or have businesses with little income due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the prospect of financial losses due to power outages or worse, a wildfire are particularly troubling.

SDG&E RESTORES POWER TO OVER HALF OF CUSTOMERS, BUT MANY RESIDENTS VOICE ANGER OVER SHUT-OFFS DURING COLD WEATHER

By Miriam Raftery
 
December 4, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – As of Friday morning, 32,797 customers of San Diego Gas & Electric remain without power, two days after the utility shut off electricity to more than 73,000 customers. SDG&E implemented the widespread planned outages to prevent power lines from sparking fires amid a red flag warning due to dry conditions and gusty Santa Ana winds.

SDG&E OPENS RESOURCE CENTERS AFTER CUTTING POWER TO 73,000 CUSTOMERS

By Miriam Raftery

December 3, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- SDG&E announced this morning that is has cut power to over 73,000 customers due to high winds and fire danger. The utility also announced,  that at 8 a.m. it will open 10 Community Resource Centers  at local libraries or community centers to provide support to those affected by Public Safety Power Shutoffs. The ceners will have water, snacks, charging stations for mobile phones and other devices, and in some areas, water trucks for livestock. (Bring your own vessel to transport water).

For locations of Community Resource Centers and updates on outages in your community, visit http://sdge.com/ready For safety, CDC guidelines will be enforced.

SDG&E reports record wind speeds recorded at its weather stations including gusts up to 94 miles per hour.

POWER OUTAGES ACROSS EAST COUNTY COULD LAST DAYS AMID HIGH WINDS, RED FLAG WARNING

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alerts

December 2, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E has shut off power to 22,000 homes tonight as winds up to 76 miles per hour have been recorded in parts of East County.  A red flag warning is in effect starting tonight through Saturday at 10 p.m. for inland valleys and mountains countywide due to low humidity and strong winds with gusts of 60 miles per hour or more.

SDG&E earlier  warned 88,700 customers of potential for prolonged public safety shutoffs that could last several days. Tonight, power has been shut off to thousands of residents in areas that include Alpine, Boulevard, Campo, Deerhorn Valley, Dehesa, Descanso, Jacumba, Jamul, Julian, Pine Valley, Potrero, Ramona, Rancho San Diego, Spring Valley, Valley Center, Warner Springs, Wynola and more. Power could be off through Sunday or Monday, according to SDG&E.

Brian D’Agostino, SDG&E’s director of fire science and climate adaptation, will provide a video briefing daily before 3 p.m. for the duration of the weather event. These video briefings will be available on SDG&E’s YouTube channel. The link to today’s briefing is available here. SDG&E will also be posting hourly updates on its NewsCenter at sdgenews.com, as needed.

READER’S EDITORIAL: BACKCOUNTRY RESIDENTS NEED SOLAR SYSTEMS TO ASSURE SAFETY WHEN SDG&E SHUTS OFF POWER

By Kiki Skagen Munshi, Julian

November 26, 2020 (Julian) – Regarding your article, SDG&E warns 2,700 customers of potential public power shutoffs after Thanksgiving: The real story is why SDG&E is doing this when the Santa Ana Wind Threat Index (SAWTI) forecast is only for “Moderate” fire danger in San Diego County and only for Friday.  This is a pattern that has become almost normal with SDG&E, threatening to shut off power the conditions aren’t very bad.  It was annoying in summer but it’s now winter and cold….and not all of us have wood stoves.

SDG&E WARNS 2,700 CUSTOMERS OF POTENTIAL PUBLIC SAFETY POWER SHUTOFFS AFTER THANKSGIVING

East County News Service

Nov. 25, 2020  (San Diego’s East County)  – Stock up on coolers to keep your Thanksgiving leftovers chilled.  Due to a Red Flag Warning  issued by the National Weather Service and forecasted Santa Ana winds, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has notified approximately 2,700 customers in the communities of Alpine, Campo Reservation, Crestwood, Descanso, Julian, La Posta Reservation, Manzanita Reservation, Pala, Santa Ysabel, Santa Ysabel Reservation, Valley Center and Viejas Reservation, that it may have to turn off power to reduce wildfire risk beginning early Friday morning.      

 “The last thing we want to be telling any of our customers right now is that we may have to shut off power given the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and the ongoing COVID pandemic,” said SDG&E’s Chief Customer Officer Scott Crider. “Public Safety Power Shutoffs are a last resort to prevent wildfires, and our employees are dedicated to doing everything we can to minimize impacts should it come to that. We’re hoping Mother Nature cooperates, but in an abundance of caution we have reached out to our customers so they can be prepared.”

Several hundred SDG&E linemen, troubleshooters and support personnel will be working on Thanksgiving Day and through the holiday weekend to ensure that power can be restored as quickly and as safely as possible, should safety power shutoffs occur.

SDG&E JOINS NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO RAISE AWARENESS OF UTILITY IMPOSTER SCAMS

Source: SDG&E
 
November 18, 2020 (San Diego) -- As part of Utility Scam Awareness Week (Nov.16-20), SDG&E is joining electric, water and natural gas utilities across the country to educate customers about utility imposters who prey on people’s reliance on essential services to cheat them out of money. To date, in 2020 alone, SDG&E customers have reported over 25,000 scams. That translates into nearly 80 per day.
 
“Scammers target our customers year-round, but we want everyone to be even more vigilant during these unprecedented times, as new waves of scams have emerged amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With more people staying at home or possibly facing financial difficulty, scammers try to take advantage of the situation,” a statement from SDG&E indicates.
 
Common Scams

FIRE DAMAGES ELECTRIC SYSTEM: SOME RESIDENTS COULD BE WITHOUT POWER FOR A WEEK OR MORE

By Miriam Raftery

September 8, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – The Valley Fire has damaged the electric system across numerous rural communities that may be without power for days. Some communities left sweltering without power since Sept. 5 may not have power restored until Sept. 15 in order to repair fire damage. An additional circuit sustained weather damage to equipment.

The prolonged outage includes some circuits in Alpine, Barrett Lake, Buckman Springs, Campo, Dehesa, Dulzura, Jamul, Lyons Valley, Morena Village,  Potrero, and Rancho Palo Verde. With the 17,000 acre wildfire still burning and Santa Ana winds forecast tonight, the outages imperil residents ability to receive emergency notifications, open electric garage doors to evacuate, or pump water to drink or fight spot fires, unless they own generators.

SDG&E has alerted customers and posted estimated dates of power restoration on its outage webpage at https://www.sdge.com/residential/customer-service/outage-center/outage-map. The communities and circuits impacted are listed below. You can find your circuit on your SDG&E bill.

SDG&E PLANNED OUTAGES IN TRIPLE-DIGIT HEAT AND STORMS MAY ENDANGER SAFETY OF RESIDENTS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: New power poles in Pine Valley are made of steel, not wood, for fire safety, as part of the upgrades that SDG&E has been installing across inland San Diego County.

Updated August 23, 2020 9:40 a.m. with responses from SDG&E.

August 22, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Amid a record-breaking heat wave with monsoonal thunderstorms, flash floods and lightning-sparked fires forecast as potential added hazards, SDG&E has announced plans to shut off power for hours during the heat of the day on Sunday and Monday across much of San Diego County.  

The outages are to upgrade wood poles to steel, among other equipment upgrades or maintenance planned.

The NWS has warned that the intense heat  this week can be life-threatening for those without air conditioning, yet the power outage will leave any residents who lack generators without access to safe, cool spaces amid the COVID-19 pandemic when many public, air-conditioned places are shut down.

Rural residents with electric well pumps will also be left without water for people or livestock to drink, as well as for fighting fires, as many rural residents equipped with tanks and hoses have done in past brush fires, unless they have invested in generators. Downed communications including internet and in some areas, phone service also leave residents unable to receive emergency alerts despite a high potential for emergencies during the extreme weather conditions.

NEWSOM ORDERS INVESTIGATION OF ROLLING BLACKOUTS; GRID OPERATOR BLAMES PUC

SDG&E thanks customers for reducing power usage, averting need for outages yesterday, but brief outages are possible over next several days during heat wave

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Creative Commons by SA-NC via Bing

August 18, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – As triple-digit heat scorches the West, California Independent Systems Operator (CAISO), which manages California’s power grid, ordered utilities to implement rolling power outages last weekend – but only notified the Governor on Friday. Outages are particularly disruptive during the pandemic, with miilions of Californians working from home and educating children at home. Many have nowhere to go to escape the heat during an outage, with libraries and other public facilities closed due to COVID-19.

Governor Gavin Newsom voiced outrage and ordered an investigation, also signing an emergency proclamation that temporarily allows some energy users and utilities to use backup energy sources to relieve pressure on the grid during peak times in the energy emergency. Meanwhile CAISO is pointing the finger at the Public Utilities Commission, claiming it has been warning the PUC to take preventive steps for years to make utility companies assure they had emergency back-up energy sources lined up, but that the PUC ignored those warnings.

FLEX ALERT ISSUED FOR NEXT FOUR DAYS: ROLLING OUTAGES AS RESIDENTS ASKED TO CONSERVE POWER STATEWIDE

Consumers should prepare for the likelihood of rotating electric outages

Source:  California ISO

August 16, 2020 (Folsom) - The California Independent System Operator (ISO) issued a statewide Flex Alert, a call for voluntary electricity conservation, beginning today and extending through Wednesday. The Flex Alerts are in effect from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. each day.

ROLLING BLACKOUTS ACROSS COUNTY: BE PREPARED

 

East County News Service

August 14, 2020 (San Diego) -- The California Independent System Operator (ISO), which oversees the statewide electric grid, has directed SDG&E to initiate rotating, one-hour service interruptions (rotating outages) throughout its service territory in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The blackouts are underway and are currently affecting thousands of residences.  View a list of current outages and estimated restoration times at  https://www.sdge.com/residential/customer-service/outage-center/outage-map.

While the rotating outages will be widespread in the region, communities located in high fire threat districts, which experience public safety power shutoffs, will be exempt from the service interruptions, SDG&E announced today.



The local outages are the result of excessive heat driving up electricity use and putting strain on the grid. CASIO has declared a “Stage 3” power emergency because contingency reserves have fallen or are anticipated to fall below requirements and cannot be restored without service interruptions.

WATCH NOW: EAST COUNTY NEWSMAKERS, SHAKERS AND NEWSMAKERS FIRST VIRTUAL PROGRAM ON COVID-19 AND WILDFIRE SAFETY ISSUES

 

August 10, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – On Friday, August 7, East County Magazine took our “Newsmakers, Shakers and Newsmakers” community forum/webinar series virtual.  Thanks to the #FacebookJournalismProject for supporting our community news reporting and virtual events in the COVID-19 era.

Thanks to all of you who sent in questions via email and social media for Dr. William Tseng, one of San Diego’s top COVID-19 experts, who shared the latest facts on COVID-19 trends and what the medical community has learned since the pandemic beganWhy does San Diego have a lower death rate than the nation?  What are the facts and myths about this disease?  How accurate are tests?  How can you help save lives if you’ve survived COVID-19?  What will it take to end the pandemic and return life to normal in our region?  Listen in to hear Dr. Tseng's fascinating responses.

Robyn Herrick, community resiliency advisor with SDG&E, discussed their upcoming drive-through Wildfire Safety Fairs coming up in Alpine, Pine Valley and Valley Center. Get details here

Hear what you need to know to stay safe this fire season – and how you get free devices to help you stay in communication even while you’re evacuated.

TODAY: EAST COUNTY MOVERS, SHAKERS AND MOVEMAKERS LIVE AT 1 PM: ASK AN EXPERT YOUR COVID-19 QUESTIONS AND GET WILDFIRE SAFETY TIPS

August 7, 2020 (San Diego's East County) -- Our East County Movers, Shakers and Newsmakers series is going virtual! 

Watch us on Facebook Live at 1 p.m. today here:  https://www.facebook.com/EastCountyMagazine.  We'll also post video later on at our site at https://www.EastCountyMagazine.org

We'll be interviewing Dr. William Tseng, our local version of Dr Fauci!  Got questions? Email to editor@eastcountymagazine.org

Dr. Tseng is with Kaiser Healthcare. He's a trustee for the Calif. Medical Association, serves on the San Diego Medical Society's executive board, and is a volunteer instructor at UCSD's School of Medicine, with  a masters in public health from Johns Hopkins University. Hear the latest findings on COVID-19, learn what to do if you're exposed, what treatments show promise, and what it will take to get San Diego County off the state's watch list and on the road to recovery and reopening.

We'll also interview Robyn Herrick from SDG&E on their upcoming drive-through Wildfire Safety Fairs.

SDG&E ANNOUNCES “ENERGY FOR OTHERS” MULTI-YEAR GIVING CAMPAIGN

Increased Contributions will Support San Diego Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund, Civic Engagement and Social Justice

East County News Service

June 18, 2020 (San Diego) -- San Diego Gas & Electric has announced “Energy for Others,” a new multi-year giving campaign to support communities in need, civic engagement and social justice.

In March, SDG&E shareholders seeded The San Diego Foundation’s COVID-19 Community Response Fund with its first $1 million contribution. With an additional $1 million contribution in 2020 and a $1 million commitment for 2021, SDG&E’s support of the fund now totals $3 million. The donations will help economic recovery, address food insecurity, assist with utility bills and more. SDG&E is also committing $500,000 to civic engagement and social justice causes, including an immediate $50,000 contribution to RISE San Diego, whose mission includes elevating and advancing urban leadership through dialogue-based civic engagement.  All contributions are funded by SDG&E shareholders.

“All of us at SDG&E care deeply about our communities and we’re honored to do our part in helping address the economic and social issues we face,” said Scott Drury, president of San Diego Gas & Electric.  “The senseless killing of George Floyd and other recent events serve as a sobering reminder that our country has more work to do before everyone is treated equally and with the same level of respect. RISE San Diego shares our values and commitment to respect, dignity and inclusiveness of all people, making them a strong partner to help advance progress.” 

DON PARENT, LONGTIME SDG&E SPOKESMAN, DIES OF CANCER



 

East County News Service

Updated with funeral and memorial information added.

May 27, 2020 (San Diego’s East County) – Donald “Don” Parent, long-time Public Affairs Manager for SDG&E and an active participant in many local business and community organizations, died May 25 after a three-year battle with prostate cancer.

“Everyone who knew Don loved him.  He was unfailingly kind, ever ready to help, and could always make you laugh,” his family posted on his Facebook page, voicing gratitude for many heartfelt messages received.  “They are testament to the man he was, and of how many people he touched.”

SDG&E POWER SHUTOFF IN DESCANSO DURING COVID-19 CRISIS LEAVES RESIDENTS STUCK HOME IN THE COLD

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Jill Sawyer

April 14, 2020 (Descanso) – SDG&E has shut-off power to 22 households in Descanso for 10 hours today in order to replace wood poles with steel for wildfire prevention. The action has sparked anger among residents under county orders to stay home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with some left in the cold despite medical conditions, working and teaching children at home There are no shelters or any public space open, with temperatures forecast to dip to a chilly 42 degrees by this evening.

After ECM’s editor called SDG&E last night to advise the utility of  concerns raised by many residents online, the utility discovered it had mistakenly called many households who were not slated to have power shut down.  “They were all called shortly before 10 p.m. apologizing for this evening’s call, advising it was made by mistake,” SDG&E media spokesperson Zoraya Griffin informed ECM.

For those without power, however, the outage puts safety of medically vulnerable and elderly residents at risk, also causing major inconveniences for those working or teaching children at home.

SDG&E OFFERS BILL DISCOUNT PROGRAMS TO HELP CUSTOMERS IN NEED

Company Encourages Customers Impacted by COVID-19 to Take Advantage of 30% Bill Savings and Other Available Assistance

 April 8, 2020 (San Diego)  – With the coronavirus pandemic causing financial hardships for many individuals and families in the region, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is encouraging those in need to apply online for bill discount programs, which can save them 30% or more off their monthly utility bill.

SDG&E offers bill discount programs to support customers year-round. Many people who previously could not take advantage of these income-based programs may now be able to do so due to lost wages. Those who recently lost their job, even if they are receiving unemployment benefits, may also be eligible for CARE and FERA.

SDG&E BEGINS UNDERGROUNDING POWER LINES IN JULIAN, PROJECT WILL ALLOW CRITICAL FACILITIES TO REMAIN POWERED DURING SHUTOFFS

East County News Service

January 7, 2020 (Julian) – SDG&E has begun construction to place powerlines underground east of downtown Julian along Banner Road (State Route 78) and Cape Horn Avenue).

The project aims to reduce wildfire risk and allow key facilities to remain open during safety power shutoffs, according to a press release issued by SDG&E.

“Unlike overhead power lines, underground lines do not present a fire risk during high winds and elevated fire danger conditions. Facilities that will benefit from the undergrounding work include: the post office, county branch library, Julian Union High School, Julian Charter School, Julian Elementary School and the CAL FIRE Station, as well as a county public works maintenance yard and a school bus yard,” the utility states. Existing overhead power lines in the area will remain, as they are needed to continue serving some customers.

VALLEY CENTER FIRE-HARDENING OF LINES PROPOSED BY SDG&E: PROTESTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY DEC. 3

By Miriam Raftery

View proposal: click here

November 30, 2019 (Valley  Center) – SDG&E has submitted a notice of construction for a fire-hardening project in Valley Center. The public has until December 3 to submit any protest letters for the project, which is slated to begin construction on January 30, 2020.

The project would remove about 7 miles of an exiting powerline alignment (tie-in 6926) from the Rincon Substation to Valley Center Substation and leave existing distribution circuits in place.  About 6 miles of the tie-line would be installed underground in road right-of-way from Valley Center Substation to a cable pole on Pauma Heights Road. From there, another 3 miles of overhead line would be installed in a double-circuit overhead configuration on an existing powerline alignment from the Pauma Heights Road pole to the Rincon substation.

SDG&E RECEIVES RECOGNITION FOR WILDFIRE SAFETY INNOVATIONS AND “OUTSTANDING” ELECTRIC RELIABILITY

For 14th consecutive year, SDG&E named best in the west for electric reliability 

 

East County News Service

 

November 23, 2019 (San Diego) --  Every day, 3.6 million people in San Diego and southern Orange counties depend on San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to power their homes and businesses. Now, PA Consulting has honored the company with the inaugural national Community Safety Award for wildfire safety innovations and a regional ReliabilityOne™ Award for being the best in the West. 

“GOT POWER” PROGRAM ON GENERATORS AND BACK-UP POWER OPTIONS SPARKS INTEREST IN ALPINE

By Chris Whipple
 
Photo:   Alpine residents Sally and Brian Shepherd speaking with Robyn Herrick and Israel Juarez of SDGE.
 
November 21, 2019 (Alpine) -- East County residents braved the rain Monday evening to attend a community presentation at the Alpine Library titled, "Got Power?"  Representatives from KAMPS Propane, SDG&E, and Clayco Electric Inc. Solar answered questions about the Public Safety Power Shutoff program in East County during Santa Ana, high-wind conditions.  Chris Whipple, a resident of Flinn Springs, also made a brief presentation about back-up power plans that allow her to use her medical CPAP equipment when the power is out.   

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB LISTENS TO COMMUNITY CONCERNS IN JULIAN

Emergency fire and medical protection, SDG&E planned outages top list of concerns

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, contributed to this report

View video of townhall: https://tinyurl.com/JacobsJulianTownHall

Photo, left, by Paul Kruze:  Supervisor Dianne Jacob and SDG&E Vice President Eugene "Mitch" Mitchell fielded audience questions.

November 7, 2019 (Julian) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob ventured into a potential firestorm when she held a scheduled town hall forum at the Julian Town Hall on October 25th in downtown Julian. Jacob’s town hall coincided with the anniversary week for the infamous 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 Witch Creek firestorms which devastated the eastern San Diego backcountry. Up to then, both were the two worst wildfires in California history.

But the irony didn’t stop there. Moments before the town hall was set to begin, word reached the venue that a brush fire erupted near Witch Creek between Ramona and Julian. This prompted County Fire Authority/Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham to bolt out of the town hall where he was slated to speak in order to respond to the fast-moving fire.

“We are all on edge,” acknowledged Jacob, who chairs the county’s Unified Fire Council and outlined major investments made by the county to improve fire safety. “But we are better prepared than ever before.”

That contention, however, was disputed by the president of the former Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFD)'s  board of directors, as multiple fire engines and an ambulance roared past the town hall en route to the Sawday Fire in Ramona.

PG&E TO CREDIT RATEPAYERS FOR OUTAGE, BUT SDG&E REFUSES AS THOUSANDS HERE LEFT POWERLESS

By Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2019 (San Diego) – A day after Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the California Public Utilities Commission to create tough new rules limiting mass outages by utilities seeking to limit their liability for fires and mandating compensation for ratepayers,  PG&E announced it will credit its ratepayers for blackouts, Newsom announced.  But San Diego Gas & Electric is refusing to do the same.

In respond to East County Magazine’s inquiry,  SDG&E communications manager Wes Jones responded yesterday, ““SDG&E is not processing any bill credits. SDG&E abides by rules set by the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates how we operate. Per that process, SDG&E is not liable for circumstances beyond our control, including weather conditions like those we have been experiencing this month. SDG&E has a legal obligation to abide by tariffs, or rules, that prevent payment for damages, such as food spoilage.”

GOVERNOR NEWSOM ASKS CPUC TO REFORM POWER SHUT-OFF RULES, PENALIZE UTILITIES FOR EXCESSIVE OUTAGES AND MANDATE COMPENSATION FOR IMPACTED RATEPAYERS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Governor Newsom met with officials and emergency responders after touring Getty Fire area in Los Angeles yesterday

October 29, 2019 (Sacramento) –San Diego rural and mountain residents weary of repeated utility-led Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) by SDG&E to prevent wildfires had complaints fall on deaf ears during Governor Jerry Brown’s administration.

By contrast, Governor Gavin Newsom has just issued a series of announced actions aimed at restricting widespread intentional outages and penalizing utilities that violate new rules that Newsom aims to impose.  In addition, Newsom called for an end to charging ratepayers during planned outages and approved funds to help compensate those left without power for losses incurred.

He also made clear that he expects the California Public Utilities Commission to take strong actions. The new Governor has appointed two new CPUC commissioners – and made clear at a press conference that he expects to see reforms, or more changes  will be made.

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