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Wildfire: Assessing and quantifying risk exposure and mitigation across western utilities

(Image credit: iStock)

In the Western United States, wildfires ignited by electric infrastructure have caused devastating damage and created billions of dollars in liability, throwing finances into question for utilities such as Hawaiian Electric Company (HECO), Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) in California, and PacifiCorp in Oregon. Wildfires, made more severe by climate change, threaten areas beyond those in the West that have recently experienced catastrophic fires. This increasing exposure to wildfire risk puts utility finances in jeopardy and, in turn, impedes the construction of electric infrastructure needed for a transition to renewable energy. A new white paper by researchers at Stanford’s Climate and Energy Policy Program analyzes Western investor-owned utilities’ wildfire mitigation plans, highlighting those that are leading the way and identifying steps utilities with exposure to wildfire risk should be taking. The researchers emphasize the importance of creating such plans and sharing them with the public to inform better decision-making by utilities, regulators, and investors. 

Learn more about the white paper and CEPP ratings of utility wildfire mitigation plans 

Media Contacts

Christine Black

Woods Institute for the Environment

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