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Proposal Issued That Would Deny SDG&E Recovery of Wildfire Expenses

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Proposal Issued That Would Deny SDG&E Recovery of Wildfire Expenses

 

On August 22, 2017, a proposal was issued by CPUC Administrative Law Judges that, if adopted by the CPUC’s Commissioners, would deny San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) request to recover costs related to the 2007 Southern California Wildfires.  The proposal finds that SDG&E did not reasonably operate its facilities linked to the Witch, Guejito, and Rice Wildfires, and thereby prohibits the utility from recovering those costs in its rates.

 

Background

On September 25, 2015, SDG&E filed an application (A.15-09-010) seeking CPUC approval to recover $379 million recorded in its Wildfire Expense Memorandum Account.  The $379 million represents a portion of the $2.4 billion in costs and legal fees incurred by SDG&E to resolve third-party damage claims arising from the Witch, Guejito, and Rice Wildfires. 

 

Proposal Highlights

The proposal evaluates whether SDG&E’s operation, engineering, and management of its facilities involved in the ignition of the Witch, Guejito, and Rice Wildfires was reasonable.  Each of the three fires is addressed separately under the CPUC’s reasonable and prudent management standard. That standard requires that the CPUC disallow recovery of unreasonable costs that were the result of imprudent utility management.

       Witch Fire (October 21, 2007) proposed outcome: SDG&E’s operation and management of its facilities prior to the ignition of the Witch Fire was unreasonable.

       Guejito Fire (October 22, 2007) proposed outcome: SDG&E’s operation and management of its facilities prior to the ignition of the Guejito Fire was unreasonable.

       Rice Fire (October 22, 2007) proposed outcome: SDG&E’s operation and management of its facilities prior to the ignition of the Rice Fire was unreasonable.

Parties to the proceeding have the opportunity to file comments on the proposal before the CPUC votes on the matter. The first opportunity for the CPUC’s Commissioners to vote on the proposal is at the CPUC’s September 28, 2017, Voting Meeting at the Chula Vista Council Chambers, 276 Fourth Ave., Chula Vista.

 

The proposal is available on the CPUC’s website.

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