SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — PG&E confirmed Tuesday evening that the utility will give a bill credit to people affected by the Oct. 9 Public Safety Power Shutoff. Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the credit earlier in the day at a news conference in Southern California.

“This is significant because utilities in the past have never credited customers for these disruptions,” Newsom said.

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“We called for rebates and the CEO just communicated with our staff that they are going to support some credits,” he said.

In a statement, PG&E President and CEO Bill Johnson said, “We have carefully considered the Governor’s request to provide reimbursement for our customers impacted by the Oct. 9 PSPS, and we have agreed to move forward with a one-time bill credit for customers impacted by that event.”

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“This is not an industry standard practice, nor approved as part of a tariff, but we believe it is the right thing to do for our customers in this case, given the challenges with our website and call center communications,” Johnson said.

In the Oct. 9 event, PG&E’s website was frequently unavailable to people trying to find out if they were going to be affected by the PSPS and the call center was overwhelmed.

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