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Record High Wildfire Threats Force Cal. to Pick When & Where to Fight Utilities

Record wildfire threats like winds, drought, and heat take the wildfire fight much farther that utilities, forcing California to pick when and where to fight utilities. Since 2017, California has had 13 of its 20 most destructive fires , seven of its 20 deadliest fires , average temperature is up almost 3°F and it’s eight warmest years have been since 2010,...

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California’s dilemma: How to control skyrocketing electric rates while building the grid of the future

New ideas include income-based rates, publicly-funded infrastructure, utility entrepreneurship, and customer-funded wildfire insurance.   California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) President Marybel Batjer says the state will not let skyrocketing electricity rates threaten reliability or the state’s policy goals. But affordability is a growing concern as California works toward a “future grid” and a dynamic new...

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CPUC imposes largest ever penalty of $1.9B on PG&E for Northern California wildfires

The CPUC opened an official investigation into PG&E’s role in sparking wildfires in Northern California in mid-2019, after the agency’s safety division identified numerous instances in which the utility’s operations violated rules and regulations. The fires collectively burned hundreds of thousands of acres and led to 129 fatalities. Read more…

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Judge calls PG&E vegetation work ‘sloppy and unreliable,’ imposes new conditions on the utility

Vegetation management is part of wider wildfire mitigation efforts by PG&E. The utility has pushed back on Alsup’s insistence that it provide more details of its plans to expand its vegetation efforts, last month telling the judge it could not commit to contracting a specific number of tree-workers by a future date. Alsup also quizzed PG&E’s...

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Utility Users Tax & Public Agency Accounts

Summary Some California cities and counties (Municipalities) levy Utility Users Taxes (UUT) on “users” of utilities services — such as natural gas, electricity, water, and telecommunications — within their borders.1 UUT is usually collected by the local utility distribution company (Utility) and remitted to the Municipality. In our experience, UUT should not be collected from...