SAN DIEGO — Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Friday that the city of San Diego is one of four cities in the state that will receive $500,000 in state funding to support residents affected by power shutoffs due to the threat of wildfires.
While visiting Sonoma County emergency responders, local officials and residents affected by the Kincade Fire, Newsom announced the establishment of the Local Government Public Safety Power Shutoffs Resiliency Program, which will provide funding to local governments to maintain power service to high-risk areas affected by power shutoffs.
San Diego, Los Angeles, San Jose and Oakland will each receive $500,000 in state funding through the program and all 58 counties in the state will receive at least $500,000 each. An additional $8 million will be made available through a competitive grant process for incorporated areas of the state and $1.5 million will be available for tribal governments.
The state included $75 million in one-time funding in the state’s 2019 budget to maintain public safety and limit the effects of power shutoffs by companies like San Diego Gas & Electric and Pacific Gas & Electric. Half of that funding will go to local governments and half will fund state agencies and departments to continue providing public services in the state.
“We must do everything we can to support Californians, especially those most vulnerable to these events,” Newsom said. “These funds will help local governments address these events and assist their most vulnerable residents.”
Newsom and other officials in the state have hammered public utility companies like SDG&E and PG&E for shutting off power for multiple days at a time to protect against potential wildfire danger. State investigators determined earlier this year that PG&E equipment in Butte County caused last year’s Camp Fire, the most destructive fire in state history, which killed 85 people.
Newsom wrote a letter earlier this week to SDG&E, PG&E and Edison International executives, calling on them to coordinate power shutoffs with state officials. He also called on PG&E to offer rebates to customers affected by the shutoffs.