OPINION: Fireproofing equipment costs consumers money

By Anthony Aguilar

In Malibu, California a recent fire called the Woolsey Fire spread out and burned down thousands of the homes and lands.

The cause is still under investigation, but electric companies, such as Edison, Pacific Gas and Electric Company are possibly to blame for the fire because of not having fireproof equipment.

These companies have been given a certain time frame to show how they will start fire proofing their lines.

Although they will start planning to make these lines fireproof, they should not charge their customers more because of not choosing to fireproof those lines earlier.

According to an article by CALmatters, “In September, Southern California Edison estimated that making its equipment more fire-resistant will cost $670 million in the next three years, and the company is seeking the Public Utilities Commission’s permission to fully recover that outlay through rate increases.” This will be charged within three years to customers who have Edison, if approved by the Public Utilities Commision.

Customers should not pay for Edison’s poor choice to decide on fireproofing when it is too late.

They should have done this before they had those lines or have it done over time when they were first set up.

In addition to Southern California Edison waiting on the chance to charge their customers more in the next three years, the proposal to charge $670 million is not a guaranteed amount.

Nothing is perfect because there can be issues to come, such as the weather damaging all the materials they have already set up.

It’s not a guaranteed amount, it’s more of an estimated amount

This should have been done upon installation.

The costs would have been smaller and possibly spread out over more years instead of shoving down three years to customers’ electric bill statements.

The mayor of Malibu was also for the change into underground lines, which costs a lot to do.

According to the article, “Malibu Mayor Rick Mullen was critical last week of what he described as outdated power equipment and called for more underground lines. But one 2012 study estimated that installing underground lines in urban settings can cost up to $5 million a mile.”

The mayor doesn’t consider the fact that it would cost millions.

Instead of immediately doing the newer method that would cost millions, he should have worked with these companies to find better methods, as cost efficient as possible and fireproof equipment as soon as the electric companies can.

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