Senator Wiener’s Bill To Cut PG&E Interconnection Wait Times Passes Senate Energy Committee

April 24, 2023

SACRAMENTO – The Senate Energy Committee passed Senator Scott Wiener’s (D-San Francisco) bill SB 83, which resolves delays on grid interconnections for new and existing construction and other critical priorities. SB 83 passed 17-0 and heads next to the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

“At a time when California needs to build rapidly to meet our housing and climate goals, extended interconnection delays are unacceptable,” said Senator Wiener. “SB 83 will require the CPUC to set enforceable time standards for connecting projects to the grid and hold investor-owned utilities like PG&E accountable when they cause unnecessary delays. I look forward to working with workers, the energy community, builders, and my colleagues to address these delays as SB 83 progresses.”

In recent years, developers, contractors, and other individual customers have noted that wait times have ballooned for IOUs, especially PG&E, to complete the final stage of project energization. The result is that completed construction projects, from hospitals to affordable housing, are sitting vacant while they wait to be connected to the electrical grid. Some report waiting as long as 18 months or two years to be hooked up.

SB 83 would address these delays by requiring the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to, by September 30th, 2024, set timelines for IOUs to complete the final stage of energization once a project is ready, enforceable via a financial penalty to be set by the CPUC. 

SB 83 is sponsored by the Construction Employers’ Association and the Housing Action Coalition. SB 83 is also supported by a coalition of labor unions, including the California Conference of Carpenters, International Union of Operating Engineers, California State Council of Laborers, and California Teamsters Public Affairs Council, and housing advocacy organizations, including the San Diego Housing Federation.

More information on utility delays and SB 83 is here:

How PG&E Adds Months-Long Delays, Costs to New Housing, (KQED, March 10th, 2023)

Editorial: If PG&E can’t turn the lights on for new housing, California needs to step in (San Francisco Chronicle, April 23, 2023)