San Diego Gas & Electric has been all mum since the state’s utility commission rejected its controversial shut-off plan. Now it’s planning the next step.
The utility is inviting community members to participate in “collaborative meetings” to discuss fire prevention strategies. The utility wants to shut off power in certain weather conditions related to the risk of wildfires. Opponents of that plan generally want the utility to invest more money in maintaining and patrolling its facilities.
When the state’s Public Utilities Commission rejected SDG&E’s shut-off plan, it directed the company acquire more public support from the community. The meetings are a response to that direction, although most critics oppose any proposal that would give the utility power to proactively shut off the power and not be liable for the consequences.
SDG&E has sent me copies of the letters mailed to customers who would have been affected by the shut-off plan and potential stakeholders in the collaboration meeting. The letter to customers mentioned other efforts to reduce fire risk and the utility’s authority to turn off the power when it’s necessary to protect public safety.
The letter inviting stakeholders to join the collaboration meeting is more detail orientated. The meeting will take place from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Oct. 16 at the Four Points by Sheraton, 8110 Aero Dr. It hopes to set a framework for how a consensus could be discussed and reached on fire prevention strategies and the shut-off plan. I’ll let you know how that goes over with the crowd.