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PUC Investigates Edison Response to Wind Outages

A preliminary report will be issued in January.

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) announced Wednesday it is conducting an investigation into prolonged power outages in the service area of Southern California Edison (SCE) following .

"Our enforcement staff is looking into why the outages occurred and why it is taking so long for power to be restored," CPUC Executive Director Paul Clanon wrote in a press release posted on the commission's website.

"SCE has a duty to provide safe and reliable service to its customers and we have a duty to make sure SCE is doing all it can to fulfill that mandate."

According to the press release, the CPUC is examining the cause of the outages, including pole failures and any other potential safety factors that contributed to the outages or their duration. It will further probe the company's staffing levels and the length of time it is taking SCE to respond to safety-related calls from customers, as well as the accuracy of the information being conveyed. In an SCE acknowledged failure to meet its own goals for service restoration and provide accurate information to customers.

"We will determine whether SCE met all safety requirements and did all it could to prevent outages, and that it is now doing all it can to restore power and communicate with its customers," Clanon wrote in the press release.

"If we determine that SCE has violated safety rules, it may face fines and penalties."

The CPUC expects to issue a preliminary report in January.

Lisa Hastings December 09, 2011 at 02:39 AM
Yes, in a perfect world we would all have solar power and/or generators. However, the fact remains that in exchange for it's state-granted monopoly, SCE is required by law to be accountable to the public and to the state government. In other words, SCE is regulated by the state government (and ultimately the taxpayers and voters). Therefore, holding SCE responsible for it's failure to be prepared for this disaster is not complaining; it is our right as taxpayers.
Pearl December 09, 2011 at 03:39 AM
Well I have solar and we still had 5 days of power outage. See if you have solar under the Calif Solar Initiative project you co-exist with Edison or who ever else provides your power. So you are still "on the grid" and when you are producing excess solar power generated it feeds back onto the grid and your meter runs backwards. Then at night when you don't generate your own power you use Edisons. This is called net metering and as of this year Edison must pay customers for all excess solar power generated. If there is a power outage your solar inverter shuts off so you can't feed power back onto the grid. It would be like energizing a downed wire and it is dangerous. The only way to avoid this is to have a bank of batteries and store all your power then run on battery power and be totally off the grid. I went around thanking all the Edison workers and county workers. Everyone else was pestering them and they were working as hard as they could. I do think Edison should have asked for outside help sooner. They did not seem to have a grip on the magnitude of the damage and what it would take to repair everything.
terry Morris December 09, 2011 at 04:00 AM
Our family the workers food we'd pick up at local take out spots. We'd drive by a crew, do a sneak head count, and then come back with lunch, or baked goods. Just a way of saying thank you. Figured they were probably dealing with a lot of angry people. It is always nice to feel appreciated. It is really something to drive through the entire valley and see what a truly massive storm this was. Streets still blocked off with ENORMOUS tress down. Everywhere you go, every single street. I am amazed that we got power as fast as we did. (five days for our family)
terry Morris December 09, 2011 at 04:08 AM
ooops Our family would bring the workers food...
Ellen Zunino December 09, 2011 at 07:16 AM
Pearl - How did your solar installation hold up in the wind? We had to have a few things on the roof tightened down (not the shingles, thank Heavens) and I was wondering if a solar assembly would pull up and damage the roof.

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