The California Public Utilities Commission has issued a new rulemaking (R.18-12-005) to examine its rules allowing electric utilities under CPUC jurisdiction to de-energize power lines when high winds or other dangerous conditions increase the threat of wildfire.
Under current rules (see Resolution ESRB-8) the electric utilities are authorized to de-energize power lines. However, the CPUC has recognized that proactive de-energization may be used more frequently in the future to prevent catastrophic wildfire ignition, and that de-energization creates risks and hardships for vulnerable customers, first responders, government and local utilities. To develop rules that weigh these competing interests, the CPUC will focus on these issues:
The CPUC seeks to enhance stakeholder involvement in examining de-energization requirements, and will hold workshops and other outreach around the state to allow input from local communities, first responders and others. Any interested party is invited to file comments and responses to questions raised in the rulemaking by February 4, 2019. A prehearing conference has been scheduled February 6, 2019.
For more information, contact Lynn Haug (lmh(at)eslawfirm.com) or Jed Gibson (jjg(at)eslawfirm.com).