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Utility will credit customers for blackouts, California governor says

Brittany De Lea

Troubled utility PG&E will begin crediting customers whose services have been disrupted in California, according to the state’s Democratic Governor.

During a news conference on Tuesday, Gov. Gavin Newsom said his staff had just spoken with executives at PG&E who agreed to provide credits.

“They will begin the process of crediting customers for this disruption,” Newsom told reporters. “This is significant because utilities in the past have never credited customers … We called for rebates and the CEO just communicated with our staff that they are going to support some credits.”

PG&E did not immediately return FOX Business’ request for comment. It is unclear at this time how much the credit will be for.

AUTHORITIES WORRY WINDS COULD SPARK NEW FIRES

'FURIOUS': 1.5 MILLION CALIFORNIANS WILL HAVE THEIR POWER TURNED OFF TUESDAY

PG&E on Tuesday said it was in the process of implementing a public safety power shutoff to nearly 600,000 customers in Northern California, while noting that about 500,000 customers were without electric service.

Earlier on Tuesday, the company had begun the process of restoring power to some customers affected by a shutdown on Saturday.

Newsom estimated that up to 300,000 customers may continue to have no power for a full week because more high winds are expected.

He also took the opportunity on Tuesday to slam PG&E for its greed, as he referenced efforts to get the nation’s largest public utility out of bankruptcy by June 2020.

“PG&E is in bankruptcy because of their own decision-making, they’re in bankruptcy because of that greed,” he said.

PG&E filed for bankruptcy in January in a bid to relieve itself of billions of dollars in liabilities stemming from lawsuits over deadly fires in the state that’s its equipment allegedly helped start in both 2017 and 2018.

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Newsom said that 2019 has not been a particularly bad year for fires compared to previous years. Newsom said his administration is getting serious about forest and vegetation management and prepositioning. He said that his administration is investing a “historic amount of money” into suppression technologies.

The Getty Fire in Southern California has destroyed 12 homes, according to the mayor of Los Angeles. More than 7,000 homes are in the mandatory evacuation zone.

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The Kincade Fire in Sonoma County has burned more than 75,000 acres, destroying nearly 60 homes.

Also on Tuesday, Southern California Edison said its equipment was likely responsible for a 2018 wildfire near Los Angeles that resulted in three fatalities, according to the Associated Press.

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