TURN today said the POD (Presiding Officer Decision) in the CPUC’s Wildfire Investigation ordering PG&E to pay $2.1 B in penalties, was a vast improvement over the settlement PG&E had hoped for. The case involved PG&E’s role in causing the deadly and destructive wildfires that ravaged northern California in 2017 and 2018. The original proposed penalties were too small and didn’t send a strong enough message to PG&E or provide sufficient benefits to the customers PG&E harmed, and were not supported by consumer advocates.
TURN advocated for the Commission to strengthen the penalties in order to make it clear to PG&E how unacceptable its poor management and maintenance have been. The Commission’s POD not only increases the penalties PG&E will pay by $462 million but also requires PG&E to pass on tax savings of approximately $500 million to customers, as TURN had urged. “This is a victory for consumers,” said TURN executive director Mark Toney. “With the additional penalties and customer savings demanded by TURN the Commission is sending PG&E a message that the company must change course and put customer safety first. We hope they will hear it.”