LOS ANGELES—Southern California Edison will pay $550 million under a settlement related to a series of 2017–18 wildfires that killed five people, destroyed nearly 3,000 structures, and consumed more than 385,000 acres, the California Public Utilities Commission announced Dec. 16.
The settlement is in response to multiple violations of regulations that govern the design, construction, and maintenance of overhead electrical lines and communications facilities.
The violations were identified during investigations into the 2018 Woolsey Fire, which began in Ventura County and ripped through Malibu, as well as the Rye Fire in Santa Clarita, the Meyers Fire in San Bernardino, the Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara and Ventura counties, and the Liberty Fire in Murrieta, all of which ignited in December 2017.
The sum represents penalties and disallowances approved by the Utilities Commission on Thursday, including a $110 million penalty to be paid by Edison shareholders into California’s General Fund, a $375 million permanent disallowance for cost recovery, and $65 million in shareholder funds to be contributed to safety measures. The permanent disallowance prevents the utility from passing on related costs to its customers.
Settlement funds will be used to strengthen SCE’s electric system, fund community engagement activities, and invest in safety studies.