Southern California Edison wants to bill ratepayers $600 million for fire prevention changes

Some of the many utility poles and power lines that burned in the Thomas Fire. These poles were awaiting repairs on Dec. 6, 2017 on Highway 150 north of Santa Paula.
Some of the many utility poles and power lines that burned in the Thomas Fire. These poles were awaiting repairs on Dec. 6, 2017 on Highway 150 north of Santa Paula.
Sharon McNary/KPCC

Listen to story

00:48
Download this story 0.0MB

Power lines operated by big utilities have sparked some of California's largest fires. Southern California Edison has announced its plan to raise nearly $600 million from ratepayers to make those fires less likely.

California’s big utilities call it “hardening the power grid.” It means replacing wood power poles with less flammable poles made of composite materials. And replacing bare naked power lines with insulated wires. All steps to better withstand more frequent, and destructive fires due to climate change.

Read more about the plans on LAist: Attn SoCal Edison Customers: Your Bill May Be About To Go Up To Prevent Wildfires