PG&E agrees to $45mil settlement over Dixie Fire

The Dixie Fire ended up being the second-largest wildfire in California’s recorded history.

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) has agreed to pay a $45 million penalty as part of a settlement for its involvement in the 2021 Dixie Fire, California’s second-largest wildfire in history.

The penalty was first proposed by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) last October, which decided on Thursday to move forward with it. 


The backstory: After starting on July 13, 2021, the Dixie Fire went on to burn 963,309 acres, which totals over 1,500 square miles. 

  • PG&E reported to the CPUC shortly after the blaze ignited that its equipment may have been involved. 
  • The following year Cal Fire confirmed that a tree hit PG&E equipment, which ignited the fire. 

The big picture: PG&E will pay $40 million into shareholder funding to digitize its hard copy records, a project that should improve the timeliness of inspection and preventive maintenance. 

  • The utility will also pay $2.5 million to the California General Fund and the remaining $2.5 million to tribes affected by the Dixie Fire. 
  • The settlement also requires PG&E to submit annual reports to the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division. 

What they’re saying: “PG&E will not request rate recovery for these expenses, so these costs will not impact customers,” PG&E said in a statement. 

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