I have long felt this way too. As others have pointed out, the US is all about capitalism, so take away some of the shareholder dividends by making the power company rebate money paid for service when the service fails and the problem will solve itself in an efficient manner. Gradually increase the penalties on a fixed schedule so the companies can plan for long term upgrades where the infrastructure is at the highest risk (rather than where the the PUC officials live - which is, I suspect, a large part of the equation now). Mandating improvements on a monopoly only results in government fines that the company officials use in the cost benefit analysis about infrastructure improvements. Give the money back to the customer and that will reduce the "sting" of a power failure.
Imagine if you got 1 day of free electric service for every hour of downtime? I'd be very happy with that and easily convinced that the power company was doing their very best to restore service quickly because it was hitting them squarely in the pocketbook.