Archive | safety RSS feed for this section

CPUC Weighs PG&E’s Future as Utility Reports 450 Safety Violations

13 Mar

As the California Public Utilities Commission considers how to potentially alter how Pacific Gas & Electric is structured and governed in a bid to improve public safety, energy industry players have put forth numerous suggestions, according to CPUC President Mike Picker. Testifying to the state Senate Energy, Utilities, & Communications Committee March 12, Picker said […]

Bills Would Create Utility-Funded Wildfire Loss Funds

28 Feb

Bills introduced in the Assembly last week would set up new state insurance funds. One measure seeks to get utilities to pay into a wildfire victims’ compensation fund and the other to require utilities to pay into a fund that would insure them against excess wildfire-related costs. AB 740 by Assemblymember Autumn Burke (D-Marina Del […]

Cost of Wildfire Plans Ignites Calls for Reasonableness Reviews

27 Feb

Questions are mounting about the price tag and effectiveness of utility wildfire mitigation plans filed with the California Public Utilities Commission earlier this month. The plans filed by the state’s three major investor-owned utilities call for spending $3 billion or more a year of ratepayer money with the goal of preventing power lines from sparking […]

Utility Plans Will Prevent Few Wildfires, Fire Safety Experts Tell Lawmakers

27 Feb

As the California Public Utilities Commission begins reviewing electric utility wildfire mitigation plans questions are rising about how effective they’ll be at preventing wildfires. The CPUC continued its review this week, but in Sacramento fire safety experts told state lawmakers that utility power lines spark just 5 percent of the state’s wildfires. Ninety-five percent of […]

Bills Aim to Give Lawmakers Say in PG&E’s Bankruptcy

26 Feb

Sen. Jerry Hill (D-San Mateo) introduced three bills Feb. 22, one of which would require legislative approval of any rate increases for Pacific Gas & Electric, which filed for Chapter 11 protection at the end of January. The other two measures are aimed at increasing the safety of the utility’s facilities to protect against wildfires. […]

CPUC Must Decide on $3B/Year of Utility Fire Protection Work

14 Feb

The staggering scope and cost of utility plans to prevent electric lines from sparking wildfires came into focus for regulators Feb. 13 during an all-day meeting. This year alone the state’s three largest investor-owned utilities plan to spend about $3 billion to minimize wildfire risks in areas with elevated threats. That’s projected to increase to […]

The Buzz

7 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric, Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric propose strengthening their wildfire risk reduction programs.  SDG&E’s plan is not as dense as the other two mitigation blueprints because it put in place many safety measures after devastating wildfires more than a decade ago. Bankrupt PG&E’s plan stands out. That includes […]

So Cal Utilities File Wildfire Risk Reduction Plans

7 Feb

Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric submitted new proposals for beefing up safety measures to the California Public Utilities Commission Feb. 6. Pacific Gas & Electric also filed its wildfire safety plan the same afternoon. The measures in the 2019 Wildfire Mitigation Plans range from significantly increasing inspections of lines and other […]

Juice: Can CCAs Build a Resilient Energy System?

5 Feb

Pacific Gas & Electric’s bankruptcy is forcing California energy policymakers to grapple with the future of the energy utility business model. PG&E’s massive $30 billion liability for wildfires has led the California Public Utilities Commission to investigate how the utility might be broken up into smaller units that could avoid electric lines sparking fires and […]

CPUC Takes Heat for Poor Utility Ratings & Safety

31 Jan

State lawmakers Jan. 30 grilled the head state energy utility regulator over what his agency was doing to bolster utility ratings and reduce wildfire risks during an Assembly Utilities & Energy Committee hearing. Committee Chair Chris Holden (D-Pasadena) warned California Public Utilities Commission President Mike Picker that the investor-owned utilities may become “un-investible” because of […]

Opinionated: The Climate Conundrum & the Vulnerable Utility Pocketbook

22 Jan

By Dan Delurey Few among us have not been subject to a power outage in our home or place of business. The electric utility industry as it grew and expanded over the decades, did so almost entirely above ground via wires and poles. Not surprisingly, this type of system, or grid, has been subject to […]

CPUC Looks at De-energization Fault Lines

9 Jan

To reduce the impacts of shutting off power lines because of wildfire threats, utility and county and state safety and enforcement officials discussed the weak links in the current de-energization process during a California Public Utilities Commission workshop in Calabasas on Jan. 9. The biggest problems cited were inadequate utility notifications and problematic communications with […]