SACRAMENTO–The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today issued a Citation to Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) for $50,000 for the utility’s failure to safely maintain its Metcalf Substation in San Jose.
On the night of August 26, 2014, and the early morning of August 27, 2014, PG&E’s Metcalf Substation was burglarized. The burglars breached the substation’s fence in multiple places, and stole construction equipment from the substation operations yard and an adjacent construction staging yard. PG&E reported that approximately $40,000 in equipment was missing.
Despite multiple alarms sounding during the time of the break-in and theft, PG&E security personnel were not aware of the break-in. Not until later in the morning of August 27, 2014, did PG&E construction crews discover the break-in and theft. In April 2013, the Metcalf Substation was attacked by gunfire, which not only should have prompted PG&E to review their security measures, but also gave PG&E time to implement improved security.
The CPUC’s investigation by its Safety and Enforcement Division (SED) found many gaps in PG&E’s security management, including lack of training for on-site personnel and security management. SED determined that PG&E was in violation of Public Utilities Code section 451, which requires that public utilities such as PG&E maintain “adequate, efficient, just, and reasonable service, instrumentalities, equipment, and facilities,” in order “to promote the safety, health, comfort, and convenience of its patrons, employees, and the public.”