PG&E Power Outages Causes Problems for Simpson Community
By Charisma Anderson
Simpson staff and commuters living outside the city limits of Redding, are dealing with the inconvenience of power outages at their homes due to PG&E.
Pacific Gas and Electric is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric companies in the United States, that is based In San Francisco, according to their website.
The company provides electric and natural gas service to about 16 million people throughout a 70,000-square mile service area in northern and central California.
According to popularmechanics.com, Pacific Gas & Electric Company is shutting off power to nearly 800,000 customers in an attempt to reduce the risk of wildfires that could be sparked from their poorly maintained infrastructure.
Forecasts of high winds and hot weather are the main reasons for PG&E to shut off its customer’s power.
Anna Erickson, a student pursuing her Communications degree shares her recent experience of living outside of Redding in Bella Vista.
“When the power goes out I lose wifi and electricity, but I do have water. The hardest part about the power outages is having to change my schedule. When I have power, I normally go home in between classes, soccer, and work to do laundry and work on homework. When the power is out, I can’t do either of those at my house. I have to make multiple trips back and forth to town, and I can’t help but think of all the wasted time and gas used in the process. Also, I’m always cold without my heater!” Said Erickson.
Anna Erickson is one of many who are dealing with the inconvenience of losing their power at a moment's notice.
Mirek Woznica, a Professor of Communication here at Simpson who also lives in Bella Vista, and has experienced losing his power twice already.
“In my understanding, the official reason for PG&E to shut off power is to protect from sparking more fires. There is also a discussion about them protecting their assets since they have been in bankruptcy. There are lots of ways of understanding it, but the main reason published in the media it to protect from sparking fires,” Said Woznica.
For Professor Woznica, the hardest part about not having electricity it getting used to the darkness, trying to keep fish he caught frozen, and being unable to charge his electric car.
According to Woznica, there is talk about PG&E shutting their power off becoming a normal occurrence.
“I respectfully disagree, because this is not normal. I don’t feel like being without power just because the company decides to turn it off whenever they need to is normal, plus it cost people a lot of money, as many are having to buy generators that comes out of their monthly income and pay a bill to PG&E.” Said Woznica
Professor Woznica finds this whole experience quite strange as he compares it to his childhood growing up in Poland.
“Infrastructure in my country during the communist time was poorly done. I don’t recall in my childhood or growing up the power going out for more than two or three hours. Even with huge snowstorms and high winds, we rarely lost our power.” Said Woznica.
As Fall turns into Winter, staff and commuters will see just how much they can handle losing their power in the months to come.