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News of Pacific Gas and Electric declaring bankruptcy has left many of their California gas and electric customers wondering what's going to happen with their service, or the company they've grown to begrudgingly pay every month.
Notably, PG&E has stated that the bankruptcy will not lead to service interruptions for any customers. However, if layoffs or budget restrictions occur as part of the bankruptcy, there could be delays for service calls. Additionally, while liquidation isn't ordinarily part of a Chapter 11, according to local news reports, the company has explored selling off its natural gas division, or other assets.
In addition to potentially having separate gas and electric providers, the rates for electric service could end up rising if the CPUC agrees with PG&E that rate hikes are necessary (and clearly with all the debts PG&E is facing, the company is all but assuredly going to push for rate hikes).
Despite the eventual rate hike that consumers will be saddled with, one potential benefit to the bankruptcy may be increased oversight. Already, a federal court judge has instructed PG&E that every tree branch that could topple on a power line needs to be removed.
Sadly, the individuals who will be most impacted are likely to be the victims of the recent fires who will only recover portions of whatever recovery they would be owed by PG&E as a result of their equipment starting the fires.