Today marks three weeks to the day since the massive downtown PG&E blackout of April 21 that lasted eight hours, affected some 95,000 customers, and throwing the Financial District into conniptions. The affected businesses can file claims against PG&E, and a San Francisco Business Times report finds many are filing some pretty sizable ones in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.
PG&E spokesperson Andrea Menniti tells the Business Times, “We've received approximately 150 claims and have already resolved more than 60 percent of those claims.” But that statement tells only part of the story, because it excludes 1,800 other claims that have been submitted via PG&E’s online form.
So the Business Times did some digging and reached out to about 3,500 local businesses to see if they were filing claims, and for how much. While only about a dozen responded, their complaints give us insights that many individual business lost six-figure sums in just the one blown day of productivity.
“Our entire staff did not have power and could not do any work at their work stations,” one anonymous law firm staffer told the publication. “We sent the staff home by late morning because we could not get information on schedule for return of power. That meant staff for 16 computer stations was lost for the entire day.”
No businesses were willing to comment on the record, as they’re still in ongoing negotiations with the utility company. But many claimed their single-day losses were in the neighborhood between $100,000 and $300,000. For their part, the City of San Francisco is filing a claim for $187,000 in lost revenue, and the SFMTA says their one-day losses totaled around $180,000.
We can’t say for sure how much PG&E is going to have to pay out, but we’ll know eventually. Being a publicly traded company, the utility will eventually have to disclose these amounts. A 2003 blackout downtown resulted in PG&E having to pay out around $6.5 million in compensation to customers who lost business.
Hey, do you want to file a claim against PG&E for losses you may have incurred from the blackout? You totally can! Go to www.pge.com/claims, fill out the forms with your sob story, and hope for the best.