You have a unique opportunity this week.
Today and on Wednesday there are two town hall meetings scheduled in Manteca and Lathrop where PG&E representatives will tell you of their plans that could require most of San Joaquin County to go without electricity for 2 to 5 days in certain extreme fire conditions to reduce PG&E’s potential liability should their equipment cause a repeat of the November 2018 wildfire in Butte County that killed 85 people and destroyed more than 14,000 homes.
Also on Wednesday there are two California Public Utilities Commission hearings scheduled for Stockton on PG&E’s request for a 12 percent plus increase in your power bill for next year to generate $1 billion and then additional rate increases in 2021 and 2020 to raise $2 billion to primarily address making PG&E’s equipment more resilient to wildfires.
Based on an average PG&E bill of $160, if the CPUC ultimately approves the rate hike request, a typical customer will start paying $10.57 more a month next year or just a little over $170. By 2022 the average bill would reach about $180 a month.
You can give your two cents on PG&E’s $2 billion request on Wednesday, July 17, at 1 and 6 p.m. during the CPUC public participation hearing taking place at the State of California Building auditorium at 31 East Channel Street in Stockton.
PG&E contends the money will be spent on:
Replacing 2,000 miles of distribution overhead power line in high-fire risk areas with covered conductors.
Replacing wood poles with steel or composite poles.
Implementing Smart Meter technology to more quickly identify and respond to fallen power lines.
Stepping up ongoing work to keep power lines clear of branches from more than 120 million trees.
Enhancing PG&E’s Wildfire Safety Operations Center.
Adding several hundred more cameras, weather stations, and communication systems.
Town hall meetings
PG&E power outages
San Joaquin County Supervisor Tom Patti, along with fellow Supervisor Larry Elliott, have arranged for two neighborhood town hall meetings regarding the PG&E shutoffs. The first is today at 5:30 p.m. at the Manteca Transit Center, 220 Moffat Blvd., in Manteca. The other is Wednesday, July 17, at 6 p.m. at the Lathrop Community Center, 15557 Fifth St., Lathrop.
Fire and police personnel as well as PG&E as well as San Joaquin County Office of Emergency Services representatives will be in attendance.
The No. 1 point local officials are trying to drive home is simple — residents should be prepared to be self-sufficient in the event of a power shutoff that will last from two to five days.
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