In North California, about 2 million people were affected by the power outage.
PG&E cut off power in various parts of California. A new strategy is being tested to avoid killer wildfires caused by its power lines.
The Bay Area in San Francisco was severely impaired by the electricity outage.
Houses with solar panels and batteries were able to overcome the situation, while others required portable generators and standby generators. However, such facilities remained out of reach to the majority of the people, who could afford neither.
In particular, solar companies saw a surge in business as this was the best alternative to meet power failure. However, it required an internal switch or battery, which just added to the cost.
The more vulnerable people affected by the shutdown were those who required electricity for their oxygen machines ad nebulizers, in nursing homes and other sectors providing critical services. For those who live from paycheck to paycheck, thinking of generators and solar panels were just beyond reach, as income was limited.
The Pacific Gas and Electric is a powerful utility that provides power to transformers across the area. The giant utility had informed officials that power would not be available to a large part of Northern California. However, even before proper communication could be provided, there was confusion and chaos as the utility’s website went down and the computer system faltered.
Tipping Point, an organization that fights against poverty in the Bay Area says that 1.7 million people have been affected by the power shutdown.
PG&E has been facing severe criticism from state officials and citizens. The company faces high liabilities of $30 billion, as it is blamed for starting wildfires caused by its equipment.
The company is the biggest in the country. It is the largest utility sector too. Bill Johnson, the new CEO has promised to step up its services towards preventing wildfires.