SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Reflecting the company’s commitment to address the growing threat of wildfires, PG&E is proposing a series of important additional safety investments as part of its 2020 General Rate Case (GRC) to help further protect the 16 million people it serves.
The company’s GRC proposal, filed today with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), includes additional precautionary measures implemented after the 2017 and 2018 wildfires to help further reduce wildfire threats. Such measures will help bolster wildfire prevention, risk monitoring and emergency response; add new and enhanced safety measures; increase vegetation management; and harden PG&E’s electric system to help further reduce wildfire risk.
2020 General Rate Case
More than half of PG&E’s proposed increase would be directly related to wildfire prevention, risk reduction, and additional safety enhancements. Among the important wildfire safety investments in the GRC proposal are the following components of PG&E’s expanded Community Wildfire Safety Program:
Installing stronger and more resilient poles and covered power lines across 2,000 miles of high fire-risk areas;
Increasing ongoing work to keep power lines clear of branches from an estimated 120 million trees with the potential to grow or fall into overhead power lines, including annual vegetation inspection of approximately 81,000 miles of high-voltage electric distribution lines;
Implementing SmartMeter™ technology to more quickly identify and respond to fallen power lines;
Expanding the network of weather stations to enhance weather forecasting and modeling by adding 1,300 new weather stations in high fire-risk areas by 2022; and
Installing nearly 600 new high-definition cameras in high fire-threat areas, increasing coverage across these areas to more than 90 percent.
While the GRC proposal will help fund a series of important safety investments, this proposal does not request funding for potential claims resulting from the devastating 2017 and 2018 Northern California wildfires, the largest of which are still under investigation.
The proposal also does not request recovery of PG&E Corporation or Utility officer compensation.
“We understand and embrace our responsibility to safely provide electricity and gas to the communities we have the privilege to serve. As California experiences more frequent and intense wildfires and other extreme weather events, we must take necessary, bold and urgent steps to protect our customers. The prudent investments we are proposing will help build a safer and more resilient energy system for the future,” said Steve Malnight, PG&E Senior Vice President of Energy Supply and Policy.