SDG&E denied extension for safety compliance report

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – A San Diego Gas & Electric request to the state Public Utilities Commission for two extra months to file a safety compliance report, after it was discovered that about 900 power poles and other equipment weren’t actually inspected, was denied this week.

According to the CPUC, the report ended up being filed Tuesday, one day after the utility sent a letter requesting the extension.

The inspection oversight was discovered in an internal audit of company records, the SDG&E letter said.

A subsequent investigation found that 887 overhead, pad-mounted and underground facilities had not gone through a detailed inspection over the past five years, as required, according to SDG&E.

Hanan Eisenman of SDG&E told City News Service that, following the discovery, employees went out and conducted the field inspections. The inspections were completed last Friday and work was continuing on follow-up maintenance, he said.

“The utility is committed to operating the electric grid in a safe and reliable manner for the benefit of the community,” Eisenman said.

The utility reported to the CPUC that the problem stemmed from mistakes in switching data from one software program to another in 2010.

The company said it later learned that about a quarter of the errors resulted from employees entering dummy placeholder information in the new system. Those entries were supposed to be updated with actual inspection data, but weren’t, according to SDG&E.

The letter said the newest information prompted the utility to reopen its investigation. Sowers estimated the inquiry would take about two months to complete.

Eisenman said it turned out the utility was able to file the compliance report a day after the extension was requested. The CPUC denied the request since it was moot.

Categories: KUSI