• PG&E Gas Certification Deadline Postponed

  • The deadline to certify personnel in the homebuilding industry working on gas lines has been extended to an unspecified date. Originally set for July 1, 2018, PG&E Director Andy Dashner cited feedback both internally and from developers as reasons for the delay. But Dashner urged builders to continue aggressively working to certify their workers and those of their sub-contractors with PG&E in order to be ready when the utility company announces the new deadline, “which will be soon,” he said. The California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) voted to add new residential construction to its gas worker certification regulations effective Jan. 1, 2017, a move that significantly expanded the program’s scope. The new regulations also mandate higher ratios of certified workers to trainees on specific tasks out in the field.

    Fearful of labor shortages in an already tight market, BIA members have voiced concerns to PG&E about low passage rates on the written portion of the new English-only test among workers whose first language is not English. For more details about the new certification program, CLICK HERE to view a slideshow presented to BIA members during a recent meeting prepared by PG&E Gas Certification Manager Josaphine Buennagel.

    In the meantime, PG&E offers the following tips to avoid certification-related construction delays:
    1. Discuss certification requirements during your pre-construction meeting with PG&E.
    2. Send employees to the testing center as soon as possible and have them take a shot at the test. This will leave more time for employees that fail the test to focus on their weak areas and retake the test before the deadline.
    3. Employees should make use of PG&E’s study guides (available online) and schedule a time to observe someone going through the skills qualification portion of the test.

    If you have additional questions for PG&E, contact Josaphine Buennagel at JMTw@pge.com or 415-215-8772. CLICK HERE to view the full PG&E leadership contact list. As always, contact me any time at lvorderbrueggen@biabayarea.org or 925-348-1956.