Learn about our continual efforts to find ways to reduce the chance of utility involvement in wildfires and to help protect consumers.
On this page you will find information about the CPUC's continual efforts to identify ways to help reduce the likelihood of utility involvement in wildfires, and to help protect consumers.
Wildfire Fund and Safety Certificates
On July 12, 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Assembly Bill (AB) 1054 (Holden). AB 1054, among other actions, provides for a Wildfire Fund, which electrical corporations may access upon meeting specified requirements. Electrical corporations must opt into the fund, make financial commitments, and may seek a safety certification. Read more.
Utility Wildfire Mitigation Plans
On Oct. 25, 2018, the CPUC acted to further protect the state from wildfires related to electric facilities by setting the framework to provide guidance on initial utility wildfire mitigation plans, and inviting the input of all stakeholders in guiding its approach. Read more.
Fast Trip Settings
The IOUs currently utilize a sensor technology that can identify disturbances on energized distribution power lines and rapidly deenergize them to avoid wildfire ignition risk.
Recently, PG&E adjusted the sensitivity of its existing sensors to address the heightened wildfire risk caused by the state’s extreme drought conditions and dry vegetation. More about PG&E’s “fast trip” setting adjustments can be found here.
Read President Marybel Batjer’s October 25, 2021 letter to PG&E President Patricia K. Poppe regarding PG&E’s deployment of fast trip settings here.
- Attachment 1 - Response to Oct. 25 Request
- Attachment 2 - DSO SOPP Model Forecast
- Attachment 3 - EPSS Outages Monthly Report
Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) and De-Energization
Investor-owned utilities have the authority to shut off the electric power to protect public safety under California law. Utilities do this during severe wildfire threat conditions as a preventative measure of last resort through PSPS’s. On Dec. 13, 2018, we opened a new Rulemaking (R.18-12-005) to examine utilities' PSPS processes. Learn more about De-Energization.
Rulemaking on Criteria and Methodology for Wildfire Cost Recovery
The CPUC's R.19-01-006 is an Order Instituting Rulemaking to Implement Public Utilities Code Section 451.2 Regarding Criteria and Methodology for Wildfire Cost Recovery Pursuant to Senate Bill 901 (2018).
Investigation into October 2019 PSPS Events
On Nov. 13, 2019, we opened an investigation (I.19-11-013) to examine recent PSPS events and make sure utilities are held accountable for their actions during these events.
Rulemaking About the Emergency Disaster Relief Program
The CPUC established R.18-03-011 to adopt an emergency disaster relief program for entities under its jurisdiction.
- Oct. 24, 2019: Decision on Wildfire Fund
- July 12, 2018: CPUC Strengthens Utility Public Notice Requirements for De-Energizing in Emergencies
- Draft Resolution ESRB-8
- Comments on Draft Resolution ESRB-8
- Reply Comments on Draft Resolution ESRB-8
- Resolution ESRB-8
- General Order 95 contains rules for the design, construction, maintenance, inspection, repair, and replacement of overhead utility facilities, including electric utility facilities, communication facilities, and cable television facilities. General Order 95, Rule 37, Table 1 addresses the above ground clearances of conductors, and the clearances between conductors and other structures/vegetation.
- Public Utilities Code 316 and General Order 95, Rule 19 govern the preservation of evidence for investigation in accordance with the Public Utilities Code, including Order Instituting Rulemaking to Consider Specified Amendments to Rule 18 of General Order 95 (R.16-02-001)
CPUC and Utility Electric Safety ReportsVisit de-energization reports
- PG&E Fire Incident Data: 2014-2019, 2020
- SCE Fire Incident Data: 2014-2019, 2020
- SDG&E Fire Incident Data: 2014-2019, 2020
- General Order 165 Reports: Utility Annual Electric Distribution Inspection Reports
- Electric and Communication Facilities Audit Reports
- Safety and Enforcement Division 2017 Annual Report (see page 33 for Electric Safety and Reliability information)
- Nov. 2, 2021: CPUC Safety Enforcement Staff Issue Proposal for PG&E Penalties and Disallowances in Settlement Addressing 2019 Kincade Wildfire
- Nov. 2, 2021: CPUC Safety Enforcement Staff Issue Proposal for SCE Penalties and Disallowances in Settlement Addressing 2017 – 2018 Wildfires
- Oct. 21, 2021: CPUC Directs Greater Coordination After a Disaster for Ensuring Basic Communication Services for Californians
- Nov. 24, 2020:CPUC President’s letter to PG&E regarding CPUC staff conducting fact-finding to determine whether a recommendation to place PG&E into the enhanced oversight and enforcement process that was a condition of approval of PG&E’s plan of reorganization, is warranted due to what appears to be a pattern of vegetation and asset management deficiencies that implicate PG&E’s ability to provide safe, reliable service to customers.
- Nov. 25, 2020: PG&E Response
- Jul. 16, 2020: CPUC Requires Wireless Companies to Better Serve Customers in Emergencies (CPUC Press Release)
- Jun. 11, 2020: CPUC Issues Proposal That Would Require Wireless Companies to Better Serve Customers in Emergencies (CPUC Press Release)
- May 2020: Information on the Self-Generation Incentive Program
- Apr. 29, 2020: CPUC Issues Proposal for the Deployment of Microgrids and Resiliency Strategies to Support Communities and Infrastructure Threatened by Power Outages (CPUC Press Release)
- Feb. 5, 2020: CPUC Issues Proposal Requiring Utilities to Conduct Multi-Cultural Outreach for Wildfires (CPUC Press Release)
- Jan. 30, 2020: CPUC Proposes Additional PSPS Guidelines for Utilities and Orders PG&E to Resume and Augment Corrective Action Reports (CPUC Press Release)
- Nov. 13, 2019: CPUC Takes Action to Hold Communications Companies Accountable and Increase Public Safety (CPUC Media Advisory)
- Nov. 13, 2019: CPUC President Batjer’s Letter to Communication Companies
- Nov. 13, 2019: CPUC to Examine Recent Utility PSPS Events and Consider Enforcement Actions (CPUC Press Release)
- Aug. 16, 2019: West Coast Utility Commissions - Wildfire Dialogue
- Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) have notified the CPUC that they have each opted in to the wildfire insurance fund created by Assembly Bill (AB) 1054 (2019). This election requires them to collectively contribute $10.5 billion to the wildfire fund. The fund may be used to cover the costs of future wildfires related to utility infrastructure in California, but does not address costs resulting from wildfires that occurred prior to the passage of AB 1054, which was signed into law on July 13, 2019. In order to access the benefits of the fund, utilities must receive an annual safety certification from the CPUC tied to executive compensation for safety performance, among other things.
- July 12, 2019: Department of Finance Letter to the CPUC on Determination of Wildfire Allocation Metric
- July 12, 2019: CPUC Letter to Utilities on Initial Safety Certification Application Staff Guidelines (Per AB 1054)
- June 27, 2019: CPUC Opens Penalty Case Against PG&E for 2017 Wildfires; Orders Company to Create Utility Pole App to Report Unsafe Power Poles and Wires; and Adopts Financial Stress Test Framework
- California Wildfires Statewide Recovery Resources
- April 2, 2019: Safety Principles for Communications Providers - CPUC staff paper
- Memorandum of Understanding between the CPUC and CAL FIRE that deals with how the agencies coordinate on response to fires and investigations
- Memorandum of Understanding between CPUC and Cal OES that deals with coordinating emergency planning, response recovery and mitigation functions between agencies
- Electric and Fire Related Fines
- Table of CPUC Fire Safety Regulations
Fire and Utility Pole News
- Dec. 21, 2018: CPUC Issues Proposals to Evaluate Safe Energy Service
- Dec. 13, 2018: CPUC to Further Examine Electric Utility De-Energization
- Nov. 26, 2018: CPUC to Hold State's First Wildfire Technology Innovation Summit March 20-21, 2019
- Nov. 16, 2018: PG&E's Second Electric Safety Incident Report to the CPUC re: Camp Fire
- Nov. 15, 2018: CPUC Issues President Statement on Wildfires and Provides Information on Wildfire Actions
- Nov. 15, 2018: In the interest of transparency and in an abundance of caution, CPUC President Michael Picker, filed a Notice of Communications. The meetings described do not constitute ex parte communications because there was not a discussion of a formal proceeding.
- Nov. 14, 2018: CPUC Provides Wildfire-Impacted Customers with Information on Automatic Protections
- Nov. 8, 2018: Southern California Edison Electric Safety Incident Report to the CPUC re: Woolsey Fire
- Nov. 8, 2018: PG&E Electric Safety Incident Report to the CPUC re: Camp Fire
- Oct. 26, 2018: Joint Letter from CPUC, Cal OES, and CAL FIRE re: Utility Public Safety Power Shut-Off
- Nov. 2, 2018: Joint Utility Response
- Oct. 25, 2018: CPUC Acts to Further Protect State from Wildfires Related to Utility Electric Facilities
- Sept. 19, 2018: SED-CAL FIRE Joint Assessment and Recommendation Report on Fire-Wind Map
- May 25, 2018: CPUC Continues Public Safety Actions as Climate Increases Risk of Wildfires
- March 22, 2018: CPUC To Evaluate Adoption Of Post-Disaster Consumer Protection Measures
- Jan. 19, 2018: CPUC Approves Statewide Fire-Threat Map
- Jan. 11, 2018: CPUC Enacts Emergency Consumer Protections for December 2017 Wildfire Victims
- Dec. 14, 2017: CPUC Adopts New Fire-Safety Regulations
- Nov. 30, 2017: CPUC Denies SDG&E's Request to Recover Wildfire Expenses
- Nov. 9, 2017: CPUC Orders Utilities to Implement Protections to Consumers Impacted by Wildfires
- June 29, 2017: CPUC to Examine Utility Pole Safety and Competition, Considers Creation of Pole Database
- April 25, 2017: CPUC Issues Staff Citations Totaling $8.3 Million to PG&E For Butte Fire
- Dec. 5, 2016: CPUC to Hold Public Hearings on SDG&E's Wildfire Cost Recovery Request
- May 26, 2016: CPUC Fire Map Depicts Areas of Elevated Hazards in State; First Step in Creation of Tools to Help Manage Resources
- March 8, 2016: CPUC Hosts En Banc on Utility Pole Safety
- Sept. 19, 2013: CPUC Enhances Safety, Issues $51.5 Million in Penalties and Remediation Against SCE and NextG for Malibu Canyon Fire
- May 20, 2013: CPUC Staff Enter Settlement Agreement Of $37 Million With Southern California Edison Over 2007
- Sept. 13, 2012: CPUC Approves $12 Million Settlement with Telecommunications Companies Over 2007 Malibu Fire
- Jan. 12, 2012: CPUC Acts to Reduce Fire Hazards Associated With Overhead Power Lines and Communication Facilities
- April 22, 2010: CPUC Approves Witch, Rice, and Guejito Fire Settlements
- Nov. 12, 2008: CPUC to Investigate 2007 Fires to Determine Whether Utility Companies Violated Safety Regulations
- Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety, previously the Wildfire Safety Division
- Wildfire Safety Advisory Board
- prepareforpowerdown.com - The Power of Being Prepared
- response.ca.gov - State of California Power Outage and Fire Recovery Resources
- readyforwildfire.org - CAL FIRE's Wildfire Preparedness website
- caloes.ca.gov - California Governor's Office of Emergency Services website
For more information, please contact
News and Outreach Office
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102