Tough week for PG&E

May 22, 2010

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is coming off a pretty tough week.

First, federal investigators issued a report, blaming PG&E for faulty work and a delayed response to complaints of a gas leak that led to a fatal home explosion in Rancho Cordova in 2008. [Sacramento Bee]

The National Transportation Safety Board cited PG&E in its report concerning the Christmas Eve tragedy that killed a man and sent his daughter and granddaughter to the hospital.

Investigators concluded that PG&E used a faulty piece of pipe during a 2006 repair job on a gas leak in the man’s front yard. In addition, PG&E was slow to respond to the 2008 accident, with a leak investigator not arriving on site for nearly three hours, despite repeated phone calls requesting help.

The man’s family and PG&E reached an out-of-court settlement last August.

The report comes out the same week as state regulators approved lowering of PG&E rates in the Central Valley following a public outcry. [San Francisco Chronicle]

Major rate changes were approved by the California Public Utilities Commission Thursday in reaction to Bakersfield residents complaints about their soaring electric bills. Many homeowners blame the problem on the new Smartmeters recently introduced by PG&E. Company officials had tried to initially blame the situation on hot weather.