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California utilities penalized $22M over 2020 power shutoffs
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The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced Wednesday it had imposed more than $22 million in fines against several utilities for alleged violations from public safety power shutoff (PSPS) events in 2020.
In a release, the group said that the administrative enforcement orders require Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) to shell out $12 million, Southern California Edison to pay $10 million and San Diego Gas & Electric to surrender $24,000.
The orders are issued under the CPUC's enforcement policy, and the action marks the first time an administrative enforcement order has been used.
Under the order, the utilities have 30 days to pay the fines to the state’s general fund and make the corrective actions or request a hearing.
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"The 2020 PSPS season consisted of 26 separate PSPS events across the service areas of all four utilities," the commission said. "The CPUC’s safety and enforcement division conducts analysis of utility PSPS events to ensure utilities are complying with CPUC guidelines.
"The safety and enforcement division’s analysis of the 2020 PSPS events uncovered multiple violations of CPUC PSPS guidelines. The administrative enforcement orders issued today address these violations through fines and corrective actions."