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Marketplace

Power shut-offs present unique challenges to low-income Californians

Ben Bradford Oct 10, 2019
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A sign calling for PG&E to turn the power back on is seen on the side of the road during a statewide blackout in Calistoga, California, on October, 10, 2019. Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images

Power shut-offs present unique challenges to low-income Californians

Ben Bradford Oct 10, 2019
A sign calling for PG&E to turn the power back on is seen on the side of the road during a statewide blackout in Calistoga, California, on October, 10, 2019. Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images
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Roughly 800,000 households and businesses in Northern California could be without electricity for a day, or days, this week. State regulators, lawmakers and utilities agreed to “public safety power shut-offs” in areas where high fire conditions exist. The plan comes after California experienced six of the 10 most destructive fires in state history in just the last three years, and while climate change is a catalyst, downed power lines or other electrical issues have sparked most of the blazes.

While many affected customers have written to their utility providers and lawmakers or taken to Twitter to air complaints, low-income households face particular obstacles during power outages.

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