Energy Safety Approves SDG&E’s 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plan Update

Approval Moves to CPUC for Ratification


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:                                                                                                                              Contact: Sandy Cooney

July 5, 2022                                                                                                                                                

SACRAMENTO – The Office of Energy Infrastructure Safety (Energy Safety) today released its evaluation and approval of San Diego Gas and Electric’s (SDG&E) 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plan (WMP) Update. Energy Safety’s approval of SDG&E’s WMP will go before the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for ratification on a date not yet determined.

“In the face of escalating climate impacts, we are laser-focused on driving electrical corporations to understand their wildfire risk and focus mitigation activities on their highest risk areas,” said Energy Safety Director Caroline Thomas Jacobs. “SDG&E has made progress during the past three years. To get ahead of accelerating climate risk, however, they will need to move quickly and do more. In our evaluation of their wildfire mitigation plan, we make clear where we expect them to continue to improve into the next year.”

Legislation signed into law in 2019, after a series of devastating wildfires, requires California’s eight electrical corporations to assess their wildfire risk, propose actions to reduce that risk, and prevent catastrophic wildfires caused by their infrastructure. They must produce and submit three-year Wildfire Mitigation Plans, updated every year, for Energy Safety’s evaluation. The plans follow a set of guidelines developed annually by Energy Safety. Once the plans are approved, they go to the CPUC for ratification.

“Although we have seen improvement, there is still much for the utilities to do in growing their maturity and reimagining how they build, operate, and maintain the grid for a climate resilient future,” said Energy Safety Director Caroline Thomas Jacobs.

Energy Safety, through its Compliance Assurance Division, ensures that electrical corporations adhere to their commitments within their WMPs.  Since May 2020, the Compliance Assurance Division has completed more than 25,000 inspection activities and identified and directed corrective action for more than 600 defects and violations regarding wildfire safety concerns.

The 2022 Wildfire Mitigation Plan Updates for the remaining seven electrical corporations (Southern California Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric Co., PacifiCorp., Bear Valley Electric Service, Liberty Utilities, Horizon West, and Trans Bay Cable) are currently under Energy Safety review and evaluation.

Energy Safety became an independent department under the Natural Resources Agency on July 1, 2021.  Between 2019 and 2021, Energy Safety was known as the Wildfire Safety Division within the CPUC. This is the third year that the electrical corporations have submitted wildfire mitigation plans, or plan updates, for evaluation.