CPUC Settles Agreement- Says PG&E to Pay $45 Million in Penalties for its role in Dixie Fire


PG&E will pay 45 million dollars in penalties for its involvement in the Dixie fire; the CPUC agreed to the settlement for the utility’s role in the fire on Thursday. The fire, which consumed nearly 1 million acres, was caused by a tree falling on PG&E’s energized conductors. The settlement comes after the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division investigated whether PG&E violated any regulations.

The penalty breakdown includes $40 million for a capital expenditure initiative to transition from hard copy to electronic records for distribution patrols and inspections, $2.5 million in fines to the California General Fund, and $2.5 million in payments to tribes impacted by the Dixie Fire for remediations. PG&E will submit an implementation plan for the record-keeping initiative, with ongoing oversight through annual reports.

The CPUC has previously taken various actions to hold PG&E accountable for safety violations, including penalties for the 2020 Zogg Fire, the 2021 Brewer Fire, the 2019 Easy Fire, the 2019 Kincade Fire, and violations during Fall 2019 Public Safety Power Shutoff events. 

Other directives include addressing inspection lapses, vegetation clearing priorities, Public Safety Power Shutoff enhancements, and the creation of a customer reporting app for electric infrastructure safety concerns. 

Additionally, PG&E was placed under the Enhanced Oversight and Enforcement Process and ordered to establish an Independent Safety Monitor.