Asm. Jim Wood Introduces Legislation to Establish Reimbursement Standards for “Public Safety Power Shutoffs”

Friday, January 31, 2020

Corporations providing electrical service must reimburse customers affected by a PSPS for qualified claims

SACRAMENTO–Today Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) introduced AB 2033, legislation that would direct utility companies, like PG&E, to reimburse its customers for certain losses as the result of a scheduled public safety power shutoff (PSPS).

“We have seen these poorly notified and haphazardly implemented power shutoffs by utility companies occur without regard for their customers,” said Wood. “These shutoffs have impacted millions of people, affecting everyone in some way, but especially hitting low-income folks and seniors hard.”

AB 2033 would require an electrical corporation that engages in a PSPS to compensate a customer for a qualified claim for food or medication spoilage or loss if the customer experienced an interruption of electrical service for more than 8 hours and received less than 24 hours’ notice of the interruption of service.

“I have developed this legislation after much research and it is based on an existing policy that has been working fairly for Southern California Edison customers,” said Wood. “The bill will establish a statewide standard so that all Californians have the right to file a qualified claim to be reimbursed for their food and medication losses. This bill cannot fix the personal inconvenience or temporary disruption customers may experience, but my hope is that it will make these utility companies look carefully at the data available to them so that they make the best decision regarding power shutoffs in the future rather than abdicating responsibility to simply protect their liability.”

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Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Santa Rosa) represents the 2nd Assembly District, which includes all of Del Norte, Trinity, Humboldt and Mendocino counties, plus northern and coastal Sonoma County, including the northern half of Santa Rosa.