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California | SOUTHLAND FOCUS

PUC Adopts Power Outage Standards

May 05, 2000|Nancy Rivera Brooks

The state Public Utilities Commission adopted measurements to determine whether electric utilities are doing an adequate job in restoring service after weather-related power outages. The standards, proposed by industry and consumer groups, are the result of criticism of Pacific Gas & Electric's response to storm damage in 1995 and 1996 that caused power outages. The PUC order determined that if more than 50% of customers get a busy signal when they try to reach the customer service call center during a weather-related outage, then service is not sufficient. Service must be restored within an average of nine hours and 30 minutes. The average is determined by dividing the total minutes that customers' service is interrupted by the total customers without power. The PUC has the authority to fine any utility with more than 150,000 customers that does not meet those standards.

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