Iain Macpherson | Edison PSPS Program Abject Failure

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

The column by Alan Ferdman on Dec. 18 was indeed an excellent wakeup call as to how California seems to be suffering a problem akin to that of a Third World country. A place where crucial electrical power supplies can be shut off based on a decision made by energy suppliers without any real specifics and heavy on generalities. Remember that California’s economy is the largest in the U.S. and sixth in world rankings! 

Our recent PSPS shut-offs seem nothing more than protecting the power supply agency’s gluteus maximus from possible litigation at their customers’ expense!

As a retired aircraft engineer with senior management-level experience in both engineering and marketing, I learned that our customers, internal or external, needed to know immediately the reason for any problem with the components the company manufactured. These could be on the shelf, at the aircraft manufacturer or on delivered aircraft in service worldwide with passengers on board. 

After definition of the problem, we had to clearly identify the design upgrade/corrections needed, and most importantly, provide our customers, internal and external, with a schedule to implement the changes, especially on a retrofit basis. In the aviation industry this is called “cause and corrective action.” 

To summarize, people will accept and endure inconvenience and hardship if there is visibility and transparency for that recovery program, however temporarily inconvenient. 

Now, let’s review Southern California Edison’s performance of the PSPS philosophy to date. As far as I can see there has been:

1: No clear definition of the precise technical/operational reason behind the need for the recent PSPS events.

2: No clear definition of any retrofit activities or new designs going forward.

3: No clear definition of any schedule to implement the needed changes.

4: No clear communication with their customers.

5: No clear understanding of the simple philosophy of publicly acknowledging the common sense of cause and corrective action.

SCE has certainly failed basic customer service 101. I’m sure one of our high schools has a marketing class that might help them with a simple course on how to actually communicate with all level of customers. 


1: Who in the California state administration actually holds these large public service energy companies accountable? 

2: Is there a timely recovery program being enforced at the highest level of the California state administration?

3: Where is that recovery program visibility being shared with millions of the California residents and businesses affected? 

Iain Macpherson 


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