California regulators on Tuesday proposed a $1.675 billion settlement with Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) to address the combination utility’s culpability in igniting wildfires in 2017 and 2018.
A product of months of investigation by the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) Safety and Enforcement Division (SED), the agreement covers issues with PG&E’s role in 2017 fires in eight Northern California counties, as well as the 2018 Camp Fire. No utility ratepayer funds may be used to fund the settlement.
Included in the settlement is $1.625 billion for wildfire costs and $50 million in shareholder funds to support future system enhancements and community initiatives by the San Francisco-based utility giant.
“The parties involved in the proposed settlement have requested expedited approval by the five-membeer CPUC so that PG&E’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy case can be resolved by June 30 next year, enabling the utility to participate in the state’s special wildfire fund to pay future fire claims,” said CPUC spokesperson Julie Hall.
SED investigated PG&E’s role in 17 separate 2017 fires and the Camp Fire and issued its report earlier this month. The parties have been holding settlement negotiations since last August.
The settlement is comprised of three basic sections covering agreements on facts and violations; PG&E’s responsibility for bearing the costs of financial obligations; and its obligation to implement 20 system enhancement initiatives.
The facts and violations involve the results of SED’s investigations in terms of missing utility records, the extent of past maintenance work, inspection and maintenance history, and the condition of equipment related to the Camp Fire.