PCG - PG&E Corporation

NYSE - Nasdaq Real Time Price. Currency in USD
-0.07 (-0.89%)
At close: 3:59PM EDT

7.76 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 4:00PM EDT

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Previous Close7.83
Bid7.81 x 3100
Ask7.82 x 3000
Day's Range7.65 - 8.06
52 Week Range5.07 - 49.42
Avg. Volume9,987,087
Market Cap4.107B
Beta (3Y Monthly)0.75
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-16.69
Earnings DateNov. 4, 2019 - Nov. 8, 2019
Forward Dividend & YieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-Dividend Date2017-09-28
1y Target Est14.36
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • After Years of Fiery Hell, California Gets Less of a Scorching in 2019

    After Years of Fiery Hell, California Gets Less of a Scorching in 2019

    (Bloomberg) -- Mother Nature has given a bit of a break to California during the 2019 wildfire season, but firefighters say the threat remains in force.Only about 163,000 acres have burned this year, a fraction of the 632,000 or so scorched in the same period last year. A wet, snowy winter led to a widespread greening in the spring, signaling there would be plenty of tinder around after a hot, dry summer. But the landscape stayed relatively moist after clouds moored above the Sierra Nevadas in May slowed the snow melt.With weather as an ally, firefighters were able to spend more time finding and containing hot spots before they spread. Meanwhile, PG&E Corp. has suggested its blackout of 2 million people this month may also have helped. After the cutoffs, the company said it found more than 100 instances of wind-driven equipment damage that could have caused fires.“How we warm up and how we dry out are pretty important on how we set up the fire regime for the rest of the year,” said Mike Anderson, a state climatologist in Sacramento. “This year our heat didn’t show up until August. We actually caught a break.”Two years of wildfires helped push PG&E, the state’s biggest utility owner, into bankruptcy after its equipment was identified as the cause of raging blazes that included the Camp Fire in November 2018 that killed 86 people and destroyed an entire town. This month, the company responded by cutting power to residents across northern and central California to make sure its equipment didn’t cause harm once again.While that move has faced fierce criticism, PG&E crews inspecting more than 27,500 miles (44,257 kilometers) of power lines after the blackout found wind damage that included trees tangled with power lines and utility poles knocked to the ground, according to spokesman Jeff Smith.“Had we not shut off power, this type of damage could have sparked a fire,” PG&E Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson said in an opinion story in Thursday’s San Francisco Chronicle. “In fact, vegetation contacting lines was the very cause of a number of fires in the North Bay two years ago.”Still, the consensus among forecasters and firefighters is that neither the state nor its utilities are out of the danger zone yet.The wildfire season runs into winter, when about 90% of the state’s rain and snow descends. In the meantime, while the state’s bone-dry season was delayed, it wasn’t eliminated. Very low humidity levels combined with high winds rolling down mountain sides -- the “Santa Ana” winds in Southern California, and the “Diablos” in the north -- remain a threat for wildfires ahead.Late season blazes can be very dangerous. In December 2017, for instance, the Thomas fire covered 281,893 acres in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties, destroying more than 1,000 structures.“Everyone who is commenting on this year is doing so with their fingers crossed,” said Keith Gilless, dean emeritus of the U.C. Berkeley College of Natural Resources, in a telephone interview.The concern now is focused on as many as 147 million dead trees still standing in California’s forests that were killed by a six-year drought earlier in the decade and a subsequent infestation of bark beetles, said Scott McLean, spokesman for the California Department of Forestry & Fire Protection, commonly called Cal Fire.California this year had 400 extra seasonal firefighters to help tamp down spot fires and implement prescribed burns to limit the amount of tinder in key areas, according to McLean. “It’s hard to say what the rest of this year is going to bring,” he added. “We probably should see more fire activity into November at some point.”To contact the reporters on this story: Brian K. Sullivan in Boston at bsullivan10@bloomberg.net;David R. Baker in San Francisco at dbaker116@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tina Davis at tinadavis@bloomberg.net, Reg Gale, Steven FrankFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Three Men at PG&E Decide When Californians Go Dark to Stop Fires

    Three Men at PG&E Decide When Californians Go Dark to Stop Fires

    (Bloomberg) -- Since an unprecedented blackout plunged millions of Californians into darkness last week, residents and state officials have questioned how utility giant PG&E Corp. came to the decision to cut the lights.Now they have some answers.In a report filed with California utility regulators on Thursday, the San Francisco-based company said three vice presidents are responsible for deciding whether the power goes out to keep electrical lines from igniting blazes: Michael Lewis, senior vice president of electric operations; Sumeet Singh, vice president of asset and risk management; and Ahmad Ababneh, vice president of electric operations on major projects and programs. Two more vice presidents will join the bunch in 2020.PG&E said the utility has already provided the factors these officials take into account in deciding. In a September 2018 document, the company said it uses national fire danger ratings, National Weather Service warnings, humidity levels, temperature, terrain and local climate to weigh shutoffs. The utility said at the time that it expected to cut service once or twice a year. So far in 2019, it has shut power at least thrice.PG&E has been taking more extreme measures to keep its lines from sparking blazes since a series of catastrophic wildfires in 2017 and 2018 saddled the company with an estimated $30 billion in liabilities and forced it into bankruptcy. Last week’s blackout -- the largest one the utility has ever orchestrated -- has drawn outrage from politicians who said the outage was too extensive and that the company did a poor job of communicating it to customers.“There are crucial lessons to learn from this event, and we are committed to learning and doing a better job across the board,” PG&E Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson said in a letter accompanying the report.PG&E also said in the filing that the company’s board of directors doesn’t directly influence shutoff decisions. But it noted that a board committee oversees the company’s wildfire safety plan -- which includes shutoffs.\--With assistance from Mark Chediak.To contact the reporter on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at ldoan6@bloomberg.net, Aaron ClarkFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • GlobeNewswire

    SHAREHOLDER ALERT: Pomerantz Law Firm Investigates Claims On Behalf of Investors of PG&E Corporation - PCG

    Pomerantz LLP is investigating claims on behalf of investors of  PG&E Corporation (“PG&E” or the “Company”) (NYSE: PCG).   Such investors are advised to contact Robert S. Willoughby at rswilloughby@pomlaw.com or 888-476-6529, ext. On this news, PG&E’s stock price fell $0.35 per share, or 4.36%, to close at $7.67 per share on October 14, 2019, the following trading day.

  • California Is in Big Trouble Again

    California Is in Big Trouble Again

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Ten to 15 years ago, pundits liked to speculate that California was on the verge of becoming a failed state. In the early years of the new century the state suffered widespread blackouts thanks to a botched deregulation of its electricity market. Meanwhile, with long-standing ballot initiatives requiring a legislative supermajority to pass tax increases, and education expenses ballooning, the state’s budget seemed permanently mired in the red. Arnold Schwarzenegger, governor at the time, managed to cobble together a deal to limit deficits, but the Great Recession sent them soaring again. The collapse of the housing bubble hit California hard, pushing unemployment above 12%. Some commentators suggested that California’s governance model, heavy on regulation and subject to the whims of ballot initiatives, could lose out to the more laissez-faire systems of states like Texas.California battled back. Under Schwarzenegger's successor, Jerry Brown, the state raised taxes on residents making more than $250,000, and bumped up the sales tax a bit. The new taxes on California’s high earners, along with the recovery in the housing and stock markets and a new technology boom, helped push the state’s budget back into the black:But California’s victory over dysfunction may be short-lived. Earlier this month, California utility PG&E Corp. intentionally cut power to millions of residents, costing the state economy billions of dollars. The planned blackout was meant to keep power lines from sparking wildfires, which have raged across California with increasing fury in recent years:The monetary losses from these fires are staggering — some estimates put them at $400 billion in 2018, or almost a seventh of the state’s gross domestic product. This includes health costs, lost property, lost jobs, decreased asset values and migration out of the state. Meanwhile, PG&E executives say that the intermittent blackouts will continue, meaning that much of the state may no longer have reliable year-round electricity. That will doubtless exert a further chilling effect on investment and property values.Fires aren’t California’s only problem. Thanks in large part to spiraling urban rents, the homeless population increased by 5.3% from 2010 to 2018, in a state that already has almost half of the nation’s homeless. In Los Angeles and San Francisco, the crisis is especially acute, with destitute people and pitiful tent encampments crowding the sidewalks. Government pension costs are rising much faster in California than in the rest of the nation, forcing cost-saving measures that are degrading the state’s education system.These forces are driving Californians to move out of the state in increasing numbers. Population growth is trickling off, and may soon go negative:Even the wealthy are moving away. A recent paper by economists Joshua Rauh and Ryan Shyu found that out-migration of top-bracket taxpayers accelerated after the income tax hike of 2012. That’s bound to put even more pressure on state finances that rely so heavily on contributions from the top 1%. Just how much of that exodus is due to the tax hikes rather than to other factors is unclear, but Rauh and Shyu argue that tax avoidance plays a significant role.So despite its heroic efforts and an unprecedented degree of political unity — Democrats now have a supermajority in the state legislature and the governor's office — California risks falling back onto the dysfunctional path that it seemed to be on in the early 2000s.Much of this is for reasons beyond the state’s control. Climate change is exacerbating drought and wildfires. The rent crisis in California cities is largely due to a structural shift in the U.S. economy; as knowledge industries become more dominant, high-earning workers are crowding into cities like San Francisco and Los Angeles in order to be close to each other, driving rents up for everyone else.But California’s political system is making it hard to respond to these pressures. Thanks to a 1978 ballot initiative called Proposition 13, California cities have stringent limits on raising revenue from local property taxes. That forces the state to provide many services, financing them with hefty income taxes. Those are inherently more unreliable than property taxes, since wealthy taxpayers can move away (while property can’t move), and since California’s income taxes fluctuate a lot because they depend so much on the profits residents earn on volatile stock prices.Meanwhile, despite one-party control of the state legislature, California has been unable to meaningfully address its housing crisis. Powerful local property owners prevent municipal governments from allowing new housing to accommodate the influx of workers from out of state. And they wield power at the state level too, as demonstrated by the demise last year of a bill that would have permitted more apartment buildings near transit hubs.As for the state’s beleaguered power companies, it’s not clear that any plan exists. PG&E is resisting pressure to sell its assets to local governments, Governor Gavin Newsom is considering breaking up the company and the state utility commission is looking at a restructuring. None of that answers the fundamental question of how the state will provide reliable electricity in an age of intensifying wildfires.If California is going to avoid this dark path, it will need the political will to carry out bold reforms. Proposition 13 must be repealed, and property taxes raised. The state legislature needs to pass bills to allow greater housing density and more construction throughout the state. Cities will have to make deals on benefit cuts for pensioners in order to spend more on schools. And the state will probably have to bite the bullet and shell out more money to bury power lines.California can still save itself from becoming a failed state, but its days of complacency and easy prosperity are over. To contact the author of this story: Noah Smith at nsmith150@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Noah Smith is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He was an assistant professor of finance at Stony Brook University, and he blogs at Noahpinion.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Reiterates Commitment to Its Plan of Reorganization; Is Confident that Its Plan Is the Best Solution for All Constituencies

    PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (together, “PG&E”) today reiterated the key features of PG&E’s fully funded Plan of Reorganization. The Plan, which is the product of extensive negotiations, treats all stakeholders fairly, protects customers, will satisfy all wildfire claims in full, and presents a viable path for PG&E to achieve regulatory approval and confirmation of its Plan in advance of the June 30, 2020 statutory deadline.

  • Business Wire

    PSPS Wind Update: Wind Gusts in Nearly Two Dozen Counties Reached Above 40 MPH; in 15 Counties, Wind Gusts Topped 50 MPH

    During Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Public Safety Power Shutoff last week, wind gusts exceeded 40 mph in 22 counties and topped 50 mph in 15 counties.

  • Oilprice.com

    How The California Blackouts Could Have Been Avoided

    The California electricity crisis left hundreds of thousands of people without power, but it might have been an issue that could have been prevented

  • Want to Buy Bankrupt PG&E? California’s Governor Is Seeking Bids

    Want to Buy Bankrupt PG&E? California’s Governor Is Seeking Bids

    (Bloomberg) -- Bankrupt utility giant PG&E Corp. has said its assets aren’t for sale. Don’t tell California’s governor that.While attending a conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, Governor Gavin Newsom said he had encouraged San Francisco to make its $2.5 billion bid to buy PG&E’s power operations within the city’s limits. And he wants to see more offers.“I back more competition,” he said. “I am very specifically encouraging others to come into this space and to make some bids. We want to create a competitive space -- and all of it with an eye on different approaches.”Newsom has called for a major reorganization of San Francisco-based PG&E since the company orchestrated a massive blackout that plunged more than two million people into darkness last week -- a measure it took to keep power lines from sparking the kind of catastrophic wildfires that forced it into bankruptcy in January. PG&E has drawn outrage from customers and politicians alike who’ve blasted it for poorly communicating the shutoffs and making them more extensive than they needed to be.Newsom on Tuesday floated the idea of spinning off PG&E’s gas business and of breaking up the company into different pieces. “All of that needs to be considered,” he said.Last week, PG&E rejected San Francisco’s offer, saying it significantly undervalues the company’s assets and that a deal wouldn’t be in the best interests of its customers. The company also said it doesn’t need to sell its businesses to finance a restructuring and emerge from bankruptcy by next year.California’s utility commission has already opened a proceeding to consider whether PG&E needs to be restructured. The agency would have to sign off on any transaction. It’s also holding an emergency meeting with company executives on Friday to discuss the mismanagement of last week’s blackout.\--With assistance from Will Wade.To contact the reporter on this story: David R. Baker in San Francisco at dbaker116@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at ldoan6@bloomberg.net, Mark ChediakFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    Interim Update (1): Damage and Hazards Found After Safety Shutoff Confirm That Turning Off Power was the Right Decision

    Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today released photos of wind-related damage and hazards that were found during inspections following last week’s Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS). The 100-plus incidents of damage or hazards were spread widely across PG&E’s PSPS footprint. In Santa Clara County, a very large tree branch fell through lines connected to a house.

  • Sempra Energy to Sell Chilean Stakes, Focus on North America

    Sempra Energy to Sell Chilean Stakes, Focus on North America

    Sempra Energy (SRE) will approximately earn $2.23 billion in cash from the divestment of its Chilean businesses, subject to working capital and debt adjustments

  • Apple, Goldman Sachs, PG&E, Tesla, Harley-Davidson, Saks: Companies to Watch
    Yahoo Finance

    Apple, Goldman Sachs, PG&E, Tesla, Harley-Davidson, Saks: Companies to Watch

    Apple, Goldman Sachs, PG&E, Tesla, Harley-Davidson and Saks are the companies to watch.

  • Duke Energy's Arm Inks Deal to Build Battery Storage Project

    Duke Energy's Arm Inks Deal to Build Battery Storage Project

    Duke Energy (DUK) is on track to invest in battery storage projects in Carolinas under its 15-year electricity generation plan.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Corporation Board of Directors Elects John Woolard and Bill Smith as New Directors

    PG&E Corporation (PCG) today announced the election of Bill Smith and John Woolard to its Board of Directors and to the Board of Directors of its subsidiary, Pacific Gas and Electric Company, effective October 11, 2019. Woolard brings extensive experience in developing world-class clean energy projects, a technological background and understanding of software and grid modernization solutions and is well versed in California’s regulatory and policy goals.

  • Business Wire

    15 Things You Need to Know About PG&E’s Oct. 9-12 Public Safety Power Shutoff

    Pacific Gas and Electric Company shared this fact sheet, “15 Things You Need to Know About PG&E’s Oct. 9-12 Public Safety Power Shutoff ” today.

  • Business Wire

    PG&E Corp. CEO Bill Johnson Issues Statement on Governor Letter

    Today, Pacific Gas and Electric Corporation CEO Bill Johnson issued the following statement on the letter from Governor Gavin Newsom regarding the recent Public Safety Power Shutoff event. First and most important, during the Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS), there were no catastrophic wildfires started.

  • Bloomberg

    Edison Report Ties Equipment to a Deadly Los Angeles Wildfire

    (Bloomberg) -- California utility giant Edison International has sent state regulators a report on a deadly wildfire that broke out last week on the edge of Los Angeles, signaling that the company’s equipment may have been somehow involved in the blaze.Southern California Edison submitted a filing known as a safety incident report with the state Public Utilities Commission on a fire that erupted late Thursday on the city’s northern border, agency spokeswoman Terrie Prosper said. The Saddleridge blaze destroyed 23 buildings and led to the death of a man who suffered a heart attack while hosing down his house.Edison declined to say in an emailed statement whether its equipment may have caused the fire. The company instead said that its local equipment had been “impacted near the reported time of the fire” and that it filed the report with the commission on Friday “out of an abundance of caution.”Utilities are required to file such reports if an accident involving their equipment causes an injury or death, leads to damage of more than $50,000, blacks out at least 10% of the company’s service territory or generates significant media coverage. The last major report of this kind came when PG&E Corp. filed one shortly after the deadliest fire in California history broke out last November. That blaze, the Camp Fire, ended up killing 86 people, leveled the entire town of Paradise and eventually forced the company into bankruptcy.Prosper said by email on Monday that the report from Edison was deemed confidential, so the agency wasn’t immediately releasing it to the public. The report filed by PG&E on the Camp fire was made public and showed that a PG&E transmission line went dark 15 minutes before the fire was first spotted. State investigators later found the company’s power lines at fault for sparking the blaze.Stock Sell-OffEdison extended its losses on Monday, falling 1.8% to $70.06, the lowest close since July. That’s even after Citigroup Inc. analysts including Praful Mehta called the sell-off overdone and noted that the utility has $750 million in wildfire insurance and a statewide wildfire insurance fund to lean on.By Monday, the Saddleridge blaze had scorched nearly 8,000 acres and was 43% contained. Large sections of several major freeways in the Los Angeles area were shut last week as the fire spread and tens of thousands of people were forced to evacuate.The fire was driven by a wind storm that moved across California last week, prompting the state’s utilities to cut off electricity to roughly 2.3 million people in an unprecedented bid to prevent fires. Edison had shut power to more than 20,000 customers in its territory, but didn’t cut service in the area where the Saddleridge blaze broke out.To contact the reporters on this story: David R. Baker in San Francisco at dbaker116@bloomberg.net;Mark Chediak in San Francisco at mchediak@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at ldoan6@bloomberg.net, Reg GaleFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    Deadline Approaching for Filing Claims in PG&E Chapter 11 Proceeding

    PG&E Corporation and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (together “PG&E”) are sharing an important reminder that the Bankruptcy Court-approved deadline for filing claims against PG&E is one week away. Claims in PG&E’s Chapter 11 cases must be filed and received no later than October 21, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. (Pacific Time), known as the Bar Date. If any person or entity believes money is owed to them by PG&E from the period before PG&E filed for Chapter 11 on January 29, 2019, then they must file a Proof of Claim before the Bar Date.

  • How PG&E Stock Could Trade after a Terrible Week
    Market Realist

    How PG&E Stock Could Trade after a Terrible Week

    Bankrupt utility PG&E; lost more than 25% last week. The fall came after the bankruptcy court allowed a bondholder group to pitch their restructuring plan.

  • PG&E, Boeing, Deere, Sears, Apple: Companies to Watch
    Yahoo Finance

    PG&E, Boeing, Deere, Sears, Apple: Companies to Watch

    PG&E, Boeing, Deere, Sears and Apple are the companies to watch.

  • One Massive Blackout Is Over, Now California Braces for the Next

    One Massive Blackout Is Over, Now California Braces for the Next

    (Bloomberg) -- An unprecedented blackout that plunged millions of Californians into the darkness for days is over.And nobody can say when the next will hit.Even as PG&E Corp. declared an end to last week’s shutoffs -- a deliberate move to keep its power lines from sparking the kind of blazes that forced the utility into bankruptcy -- the company warned that more will come. “It’s a future we must be ready for given the conditions and risks that we face,” Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson told reporters.California has six weeks left in the wildfire season -- a time punctuated by dry, hot weather and high winds that have for years been the fuel for deadly and devastating blazes. While both PG&E and California state officials alike acknowledged that the shutoffs that began on Wednesday could have been better orchestrated, neither questioned their need.Climate change has made for more extreme conditions. In November 2018, a PG&E power line sparked the deadliest blaze in California history. And a year earlier, a series of wildfires devastated the state’s wine country. That, state and company officials said, necessitates more extreme measures.Mother Nature’s CallBy Friday, PG&E had restored power to 97% of those affected by the blackouts. On Sunday, 100% of customers had their lights back on. In all, roughly 738,000 homes and businesses went down in cities surrounding San Francisco. More than half of the state’s 58 counties were affected. When they’ll go dark again is Mother Nature’s call, Johnson said. “It really is weather-dependent -- where the wind is, where the conditions are.”Read More: Darkness, Frustration, Fire: Five Tumultuous Days in CaliforniaEven as the lights flickered back on, California firefighters were battling several infernos in Southern California. One that began in the hills north of the San Fernando Valley in the Los Angeles area -- now called the Saddleridge fire -- had burned about 8,000 acres as of Sunday and was less than 50% contained, destroying or damaging 32 structures. Another at the edge of the Sierra Nevada mountains had scorched more than 5,500 acres.For more on California’s blackouts, listen to this podcast.The Los Angeles Fire Department was still investigating the cause of the Saddlebridge fire. Sparks were reported at a transmission tower owned by Edison International’s Southern California Edison utility, but fire officials said it would take at least a week for them to come up with any substantial findings. Edison said in a statement Sunday that it would “fully cooperate with investigations.”The impact on Edison is expected to be minimal, according Citigroup Inc. analysts including Praful Mehta said in a report over the weekend. The utility has $750 million in wildfire insurance and now has the backing of a statewide wildfire insurance fund, they said. Investor concerns over the Saddleridge fire sent the stock sliding 3.9% on Oct. 11, the biggest weekly decline in more than four months.Undervalued StockBack in Northern California, PG&E said it had found 50 instances of weather-related damage in the course of inspecting lines following high winds. “There’s some vindication -- that’s not the right word,” Johnson said late Friday, but the fact that the utility discovered so many safety issues that could have ignited a wildfire made the blackout well worth it, he said.Johnson promised better communication going forward. For days, both ahead of the blackout and during it, the company’s website was down, overwhelmed by people trying to find out whether they would be cut off and for how long. Call centers were similarly flooded. Text messages to homes and businesses affected were few and far between.Read More: Dark Shops, Spotty Phones, Rotting Fish: Life in a Mass BlackoutThe operational act of turning off and on power actually “went really well,” Johnson said. But he committed to better notifications, more phone alerts, shorter call wait times and a website “that works no matter how much traffic is on it.”California officials will have their own say on what more should be done. Governor Gavin Newsom has blasted PG&E over the shutoffs, saying the company should have been more surgical -- and never would’ve been in this situation if it had invested in its infrastructure more heavily. He also called on state utility regulators to review PG&E’s actions.A spokeswoman for the California Public Utilities Commission said the agency, as a policy, reviewed all intentional outages by California utilities. PG&E said it will file a report with the agency detailing the damages it discovered.To contact the reporters on this story: Lynn Doan in San Francisco at ldoan6@bloomberg.net;Mark Chediak in San Francisco at mchediak@bloomberg.net;Hailey Waller in New York at hwaller@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at ldoan6@bloomberg.net, Kevin MillerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    PSPS Update: All Customers Impacted by Safety Shutoffs Have Now Been Restored

    Final 2,500 Customers Without Power Energized Saturday Afternoon

  • Bloomberg

    Darkness, Frustration, Fire: Five Tumultuous Days in California

    (Bloomberg) -- Californians have always lived in the shadow of calamity -- from earthquakes, mudslides, flooding, fires and droughts.But the move this week from the state’s largest power company represented a new type of burden: a widespread, intentional hardship designed to prevent something much worse.Facing a powerful windstorm, PG&E Corp. cut off power to wide swaths of California rather than risk its lines sparking a deadly wildfire like the ones that ravaged the state over the past two years and sent the company into bankruptcy. The outage hit 34 of the state’s 58 counties -- including the heavily populated San Francisco Bay area -- and led to backlash, frustration and confusion.Two of California’s smaller utilities to the south, Edison International’s Southern California Edison and Sempra Energy’s San Diego Gas & Electric, made a similar -- albeit more measured -- calculation. Over the course of three days, roughly 2.3 million people would lose electricity in the world’s fifth-largest economy.Here’s how the largest deliberate power outage in California’s history unfolded. (All times local.)Monday, 10:15 a.m.PG&E issues its first news release warning of a “fire weather watch” that may lead to power shutdowns in 29 counties, without saying how many customers may be affected. Until this time, the utility has largely deployed shutoffs in slices of the Napa Valley and along the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains, where it had just cut electricity over the weekend to about 10,000 customers due to windy conditions.Monday, 9:02 p.m.The size and scope of PG&E’s plans start to come into focus. The company says it may need to turn off the lights to more than 600,000 homes and businesses starting early Wednesday. The announcement includes dozens of cities in the San Francisco Bay area, such as Oakland, San Jose and Berkeley.“This is shaping up to be one of the most severe dry wind events we’ve seen in our territory in recent years,” Michael Lewis, senior vice president of electric operations, says in a statement.Tuesday, 10 a.m.As the news of potential outages spreads, Californians mobilize for what could be the largest planned blackout of its kind in history. State and local authorities ready their emergency operations centers. Residents rush out to snap up generators, flashlights, batteries, ice and bottled water, leaving hardware and grocery store shelves empty. Stanford professor Michael Wara calculates that a two-day outage could have an economic impact of about $2.6 billion.Tuesday, 1:36 p.m.PG&E confirms that it will shut off power for almost 800,000 customers in stages, starting just after midnight. Four new counties are added to its list, bringing the total to 34. It tells customers to prepare for an “extended outage.”The utility’s website is flooded with traffic and crashes, leaving residents frustrated and confused. Customers report having trouble reaching the utility’s call center.Tuesday, 3 p.m.Governor Gavin Newsom calls PG&E’s actions warranted while acknowledging the massive disruption the blackout represented.“No one is happy about it, no one is satisfied, but no one should be surprised, because we have been anticipating this moment for a year,” Newsom says at a bill-signing event in Oakland. The blackout “shows that PG&E finally woke up to their responsibility to keep people safe,” he says.State Senator Jerry Hill, a frequent PG&E critic, says the company went too far. “They need to spend the billions they’ve already received to harden the system,” he says at the event. “I think they’re in crisis and will do anything to prevent another wildfire.”Anger spreads among other politicians. State Senator Scott Wiener calls it a “completely unacceptable state of affairs.”Tuesday, 7 p.m.At the utility’s first press conference since the shutoff warning, PG&E representatives apologize for the problems with the company’s website and say they are working to address the issue. The company also says it is rushing to get generators to the California Department of Transportation so it can keep open a critical freeway tunnel that connects parts of the East Bay.Wednesday, 12:01 a.m.The first phase of the shutoff starts, affecting about 500,000 customers in more than 20 counties.Wednesday, 7 a.m.More than a million Californians wake up without power, including many in wine country. The website with outage information remains down. PG&E says the shutoffs will spread by noon to cities surrounding San Francisco, then later delays the second phase after wind patterns change.Wednesday, 2 p.m.Stores are shut in the counties hit by early outages. Safeway supermarkets bring in back-up generators and refrigerated trailers upon availability.At Sonoma County’s Russian River Brewing Company -- famed for its Pliny the Younger cult beer -- a 2-megawatt generator keeps the business running. The generator is too big, burning $8,000 to $10,000 of diesel per day. But nearby wineries had already snapped up all the smaller ones, says Russian River co-owner Natalie Cilurzo.In many areas without power, wind speeds have yet to pick up, leading to criticism the outage was unnecessary.“It’s a beautiful day here,” Cilurzo says. “We’re all kind of scratching our heads.”Napa Democrat Bill Dodd expresses a similar concern, saying “many of my constituents are disturbed that the power was shut down before the winds started to pick up.”Wednesday, 2:35 p.m.In the midst of the power tumult, PG&E is dealt a blow in its bankruptcy case. The judge overseeing the process issues a ruling that strips PG&E of its exclusive control over its reorganization, allowing bondholders and wildfire victims to offer a competing plan that all but wipes out current shareholders.Wednesday, 10:45 p.m.The blackout spreads to more densely populated parts of the Bay Area, including Oakland. With WiFi down, people flood LTE networks on their cell phones, crippling the systems and virtually killing access to cellular data for all within shutoff zones.Thursday, 2:30 a.m.Just hours after PG&E shuts off power to Moraga, an affluent rural town about 20 miles east of San Francisco, residents awake to police warning them to seek shelter at a local church. Despite the dead electrical lines, a wildfire has broken out.Roughly 140 homes are evacuated, and inoperable traffic lights create delays of an hour or more as cars clog the single-lane road leading out of town. The fire eventually is contained with no damage to houses.Thursday, 6 a.m.PG&E says it has restored power to 126,000 customers, easing fears that the blackout could drag on for days.As Wall Street trading opens, PG&E shares plunge more than 30% on concern that the bankruptcy judge’s ruling could lead to a total wipeout for shareholders. Analysts warn the stock could fall to zero.Meanwhile, Bay Area residents awaken to darkness and adjust to disrupted routines. In Oakland, a doughnut shop serves doughnuts but no coffee. Credit card machines are down, so patrons pay with cash only.At a clearly powerless sushi restaurant, a man begins unloading a box of fresh tuna to deliver. “They ordered it,” he shrugs.Thursday, 10 a.m.The normally bustling University of California, Berkeley, is nearly devoid of students, with classes canceled due to the blackout. Just north of campus, a strip of shops and restaurants still has power, but closes anyway.“There is no business,” says Ray Woo, owner of the TC Garden restaurant next to the university. “Nobody is coming. There aren’t any students.”Thursday, 11:55 a.m.A small wildfire is spotted beneath a PG&E transmission line on a steep ridge just south of San Francisco. It is quickly contained, and firefighters don’t announce a cause.Thursday, 5 p.m.Newsom blasts PG&E’s handling of the shutoff. He blames the outage on the utility’s “greed and mismanagement” and calls for a “major reorganization” of the company. But while the governor says future planned blackouts must be more surgical, he defends the practice itself, saying it could have saved lives during last year’s deadly Camp Fire if PG&E had chosen to do it then.Thursday, 6 p.m.In his first public statements since the outage began, PG&E Chief Executive Officer Bill Johnson apologizes for the way the company handled its communication of the shutoffs.“This isn’t how we want to serve you,” he says. “We are in the business of providing power. Not taking it away.”Johnson says the company made a determination that the blackouts were necessary for safety reasons, to ensure “zero risk” of sparks.Thursday, 9:40 p.m.A brush fire pops up on the northern edge of Los Angeles, and fanned by strong winds, starts marching westward. The Saddleridge fire soon closes a portion of the Interstate 5 freeway into the city and nears the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility, site in 2015 of the largest gas leak in U.S. history.Lights are starting to come back on in the Bay Area. Around 11 p.m., PG&E says it has restored power to more than half of the 738,000 customers who lost it, including all in the northernmost counties the company serves.Friday 1 p.m.The Saddleridge swells to 7,542 acres, forcing the evacuation of 23,000 homes. At least 25 structures have burned, and one civilian suffered a heart attack, dying at the hospital. Fire officials say they’re investigating reports of sparks flying from a transformer at the start of the blaze.Friday 6 p.m.PG&E says only 84,000 customers remain without power. It aims to have service restored to almost all homes and businesses by early Saturday.The outages may not have been in vain: The utility said it found 30 instances where tree branches had fallen on its power lines or knocked them down.“There’s some vindication -- that’s not the right word -- the fact that there were 30 plus things that could’ve caused a fire and didn’t,” made the blackout worth it, Johnson says.Saturday, 2 p.m.PG&E says it’s restored power to 99.5% its customers affected as of 1 p.m.About 735,000 customers in California had power restored within 48 hours after getting the all clear earlier in the week, Sumeet Singh, vice president of the community wildfire safety program at the utility, said in a press conference on its social media platforms. About 2,500 are still without power in the state, he added.The utility also said it found 50 cases of damage or hazard, up from 30 the day before.\--With assistance from Lizette Chapman, Lynn Doan, Jeffrey Taylor and Hailey Waller.To contact the reporters on this story: David R. Baker in San Francisco at dbaker116@bloomberg.net;Mark Chediak in San Francisco at mchediak@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Lynn Doan at ldoan6@bloomberg.net, Kara WetzelFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Business Wire

    PSPS Update: 98 Percent of Customers Have Been Restored System-Wide

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  • Business Wire

    PSPS Update: 97 Percent of Customers Have Been Restored System-Wide

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