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3 major California utilities agree to fire fund

All three of California's investor-owned utilities have agreed to pay into a new fund to cover costs from catastrophic wildfires caused by power company equipment.

Posted: Jul 25, 2019 4:26 PM

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - The Latest on California utilities and wildfires (all times local):

3:20 p.m.

All three of California's investor-owned utilities have agreed to pay into a new fund to cover costs from catastrophic wildfires caused by power company equipment.

Pacific Gas & Electric said Thursday that it will pay about $4.8 billion into the fund when it emerges from bankruptcy as well as $193 million a year.

That's on top of Southern California Edison's announcement earlier in the day that it would participate.

San Diego Gas & Electric said last week that it would join the fund, committing $450 million over multiple years.

Together the companies will contribute a total of $10.5 billion from shareholders and debt financing. Electric customers, meanwhile, will kick in an additional $10.5 billion through an existing charge on their bills.

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2 p.m.

Southern California Edison says it is signing on to a new fund to help cover the costs of catastrophic wildfires caused by power company equipment.

The company, which serves about 15 million people, announced Thursday that it will join the program.

Southern California Edison says it will contribute about $2.4 billion in September, followed by smaller contributions each year over the next decade.

A bill signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this month calls for California's major investor-owned electric companies to chip in to a fund that will ultimately cover $30 billion to $40 billion in claims from future fires.

The companies will also have to meet new safety standards and spend billions on fire prevention as part of the program.

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This item has been corrected to show Southern California Edison was not the first utility to sign on to the plan.

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