Some PG&E customers want their cities to switch utilities but it would be a long process

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ROCKLIN, Calif. (KTXL) -- As Pacific Gas and Electric announced the possibility of a new round of power shut-offs Sunday, some communities in the affected areas have been asking their elected representatives why they can’t switch service from PG&E to another energy provider.

If PG&E begins another round of power shut-offs this week, all homes in Roseville will be fine because they are all Roseville Electric customers.

But not far away, some Rocklin neighbors could get notices that their power might be shut off.

“Just concerned that I’m hearing it’s going to happen again and it’s not going to be good for us if the power gets shut down,” said Rocklin PG&E customer Mark Reinking.

Rocklin Mayor Joe Patterson floated the idea of switching to Roseville Electric.

“We can’t be in a state of flux where everybody’s wondering, ‘Hey, is my breathing machine going to work today because the wind is blowing too hard 50 miles from here?’” Patterson told FOX40.

Shawn Matchim, Roseville Electric’s assistant director, said expanding to cover places where PG&E is now is possible. It’s called municipalization but it’s a long, difficult process.

“Whether it’s feasible or not comes down to a case-by-case basis,” he explained. “It’s just going to require a thorough analysis of the parties involved.”

Matchim said expanding could be tricky. Roseville Electric has kept customers happy partly because, unlike PG&E, they cover a small area. That means they can be responsive to every customer.

They have also been able to maintain their equipment and modernize. Around 85% of Roseville Electric lines are now underground. For comparison, 60% of the Sacramento Municipal Utility District’s lines are underground.

PG&E did not get back to FOX40 about how many of their lines are underground.

Matchim confirmed the utility has at least discussed plans to expand its service to Rocklin.

“Very preliminary discussions,” Matchim said. “And I think at this point for us, it’s something we’re willing to listen to.”

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