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In January, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), California’s largest utility, declared and subsequently filed for bankruptcy as a result of incurring as much as $30 billion in potential liabilities from transmission-caused wildfires in 2017 and 2018. The utility faces over 1,000 lawsuits and may be unable to completely handle its liabilities, possibly requiring significant state intervention. This raises critical questions about utility operations and business, and what policies are necessary to assess liability in an era of growing climate risks. Liability for each fire is determined by California’s Department of Forestry and Fire Prevention on a case-by-case basis. Under California’s… [more]View Insight
In 2011 the Obama Administration put out a challenge to utilities: give customers a way to better access and understand their energy use data. The challenge, and its result the “Green Button” initiative, is based on the assumption that the more information consumers have, the smarter they will be about their energy use decisions. Utilities around the country have begun to sign on to the initiative and commit to provide their customers with real-time energy use data. Data provided by utilities through the Green Button initiative will be collected and hosted by the Department of Energy in a standardized format.… [more]View Insight