SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
|ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|For the fiscal year ended ||December 31, 2020|
|TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(d) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934|
|For the transition period from to|
|Exact Name of Registrant|
as specified in its charter
|State or Other Jurisdiction of|
Incorporation or Organization
|1-2313||SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY||California||95-1240335|
|EDISON INTERNATIONAL||SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA EDISON COMPANY|
|2244 Walnut Grove Avenue||2244 Walnut Grove Avenue|
|(P.O. Box 976)||(P.O. Box 800)|
|(Address of principal executive offices)||(Address of principal executive offices)|
|(626) ||302-2222||(626) ||302-1212|
|(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)||(Registrant's telephone number, including area code)|
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
|Title of each class||Trading Symbol(s)||Name of each exchange on which registered|
|Common Stock, no par value||EIX||NYSE ||LLC|
Southern California Edison Company: None
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act: None
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act.
Edison International Yes ☑ No ☐ Southern California Edison Company Yes ☑ No ☐
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act.
Edison International Yes ☐ No ☑ Southern California Edison Company Yes ☐ No ☑
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.
Edison International Yes ☑ No ☐ Southern California Edison Company Yes ☑ No ☐
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically every Interactive Data File required to be submitted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§ 232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit such files).
Edison International Yes ☑ No ☐ Southern California Edison Company Yes ☑ No ☐
|Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, a smaller reporting company, or an emerging growth company. See the definitions of "large accelerated filer," "accelerated filer," "smaller reporting company," and "emerging growth company" in Rule 12b-12 of the Exchange Act. (Check One):|
|Edison International||Large Accelerated Filer ||Accelerated Filer ||Non-accelerated Filer ||Smaller Reporting Company ||Emerging growth company |
|Southern California Edison Company||Large Accelerated Filer ||Accelerated Filer ||Non-accelerated Filer ||Smaller Reporting Company ||Emerging growth company |
|If an emerging growth company, indicate by check mark if the registrant has elected not to use the extended transition period for complying with any new or revised financial accounting standards provided pursuant to Section 13(a) of the Exchange Act.|
| Edison International|
| Southern California Edison Company|
|Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has filed a report on and attestation to its management's assessment of the effectiveness of its internal control over financial reporting under Section 404(b) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (15 U.S.C. 7262(b)) by the registered public accounting firm that prepared or issued its audit report. |
| Edison International||☑|| Southern California Edison Company|
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company (as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act).
Edison International Yes ☐ No ☑ Southern California Edison Company Yes ☐ No ☑
Aggregate market value of voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrants as of June 30, 2020, the last business day of the most recently completed second fiscal quarter:
Edison International Approximately $20.5 billion Southern California Edison Company Wholly owned by Edison International
|Indicate the number of shares outstanding of each of the issuer's classes of common stock, as of the latest practicable date:|
Common Stock outstanding as of February 18, 2021:
|Edison International||379,283,328 ||shares|
|Southern California Edison Company||434,888,104 ||shares (wholly owned by Edison International)|
OMISSION OF CERTAIN INFORMATION
Southern California Edison Company meets the conditions set forth in General Instruction I(1)(a) and (b) of Form 10-K and is therefore filing this Form with the reduced disclosure format allowed under that General Instruction.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
Designated portions of the Edison International Proxy Statement relating to Edison International's 2021 Annual Meeting of Shareholders are incorporated by reference into Part III of this report.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
|Part I, Item 1B|
|Part I, Item 2|
|Part I, Item 3|
|Part I, Item 4|
|Part III, Item 10|
|Part III, Item 11|
|Part III, Item 13|
|Part III, Item 12|
|Part III, Item 14|
|Part II, Item 5; |
Part III, Item 12
|Part IV, Item 16|
|Part IV, Item 15|
This is a combined Form 10-K separately filed by Edison International and Southern California Edison Company. Information contained herein relating to an individual company is filed by such company on its own behalf. Each company makes representations only as to itself and makes no other representation whatsoever as to any other company.
The following terms and abbreviations appearing in the text of this report have the meanings indicated below.
|2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events||the Thomas Fire, the Koenigstein Fire, the Montecito Mudslides and the Woolsey Fire, collectively|
wildfires that originated in Southern California in 2019 and 2020 where SCE's equipment may be alleged to be associated with the fire's ignition
|AB 1054||California Assembly Bill 1054, executed by the governor of California on July 12, 2019|
|AB 1054 Excluded Capital Expenditures||approximately $1.6 billion in wildfire risk mitigation capital expenditures that SCE will exclude from the equity portion of SCE's rate base as required under AB 1054|
|AB 1054 Liability Cap|
a cap on the aggregate requirement to reimburse the Wildfire Insurance Fund over a trailing three calendar year period which applies if certain conditions are met and is equal to 20% of the equity portion of the utility's transmission and distribution rate base in the year of the applicable prudency determination
|ARO(s)||asset retirement obligation(s)|
Base Revenue Requirement Balancing Account
|CAISO||California Independent System Operator|
|Capital Structure Compliance Period||January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2022, the current compliance period for SCE's CPUC authorized capital structure|
community choice aggregators which are cities, counties, and certain other public agencies with the authority to generate and/or purchase electricity for their local residents and businesses
|CEMA||Catastrophic Event Memorandum Accounts|
|COVID-19||Coronavirus disease 2019|
|CPUC||California Public Utilities Commission|
|CSRP ||Customer Service Re-platform, a SCE project to implement a new customer service system|
a Days Away Restricted or Transferred incident, which is a work-related
Occupational Safety and Health Administration recordable injury or illness that results in days away from work, restricted duty or transfer of duties
|DERs||distributed energy resources|
Edison Energy, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Edison Energy Group that is engaged in the competitive business of providing data-driven energy solutions to commercial, institutional and industrial customers
|Edison Energy Group||Edison Energy Group, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Edison International, that is a holding company for subsidiaries engaged in competitive businesses|
|Edison International Proxy Statement||Proxy Statement to be filed with the SEC in connection with Edison International's Annual Meeting of Shareholders' to be held on April 22, 2021|
|EEI Serious Injuries||a work-related injury that is categorized as a “serious injury” by Edison Electric Institute, which includes injuries that meet any of the following “serious” criteria: amputations (involving bone); concussions and/or cerebral hemorrhages; injury to internal organs; bone fractures excluding fingers and toes, compound bone fractures for fingers and toes; tendon and ligament tears; herniated disks (neck or back); lacerations resulting in severed tendons and/or a deep wound requiring internal stitches; second or third degree burns; eye injuries resulting in eye damage or loss of vision; injections of foreign materials; severe heat exhaustion and all heat stroke; and dislocation of a major joint|
a work-related fatality or an EEI Serious Injury
|Electric Service Provider||an entity that offers electric power and ancillary services to retail customers, other than electrical corporations (like SCE) and CCAs|
|ERRA||Energy Resource Recovery Account|
|FERC||Federal Energy Regulatory Commission|
|FERC 2019 Settlement Period||November 12, 2019 through at least December 31, 2021|
Fire Hazard Prevention Memorandum Account
|Fitch||Fitch Ratings, Inc.|
|GAAP||generally accepted accounting principles|
|GRC||general rate case|
|GS&RP||Grid Safety and Resiliency Program|
a wind-driven fire that originated near Koenigstein Road in the City of Santa Paula in Ventura County, California, on December 4, 2017
unit of electrical potential equal to 1000 volts
|MD&A||Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results|
of Operations in this report
|Montecito Mudslides||the debris flows and flooding in Montecito, Santa Barbara County, California, that occurred in January 2018|
|Moody's||Moody's Investors Service, Inc.|
|NEM||net energy metering|
|NERC||North American Electric Reliability Corporation|
|NRC||Nuclear Regulatory Commission|
|PABA||Portfolio Allocation Balancing Account|
|Palo Verde||nuclear electric generating facility located near Phoenix, Arizona in which SCE holds a 15.8% ownership interest|
|PBOP(s)||postretirement benefits other than pension(s)|
|PCIA||Power Charge Indifference Adjustment|
|PG&E||Pacific Gas & Electric Company|
|PSPS||Public Safety Power Shutoffs|
|ROE||return on common equity|
|RPS||renewables portfolio standard|
|S&P||Standard & Poor's Financial Services LLC|
|San Onofre||retired nuclear generating facility located in south San Clemente, California in which SCE holds a 78.21% ownership interest|
|SCE||Southern California Edison Company, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Edison International|
|SDG&E||San Diego Gas & Electric|
|SEC||U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission|
|SED||Safety and Enforcement Division of the CPUC|
|SoCalGas||Southern California Gas Company|
|SoCore Energy||SoCore Energy LLC, a former subsidiary of Edison Energy Group that was sold in |
Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law on December 22, 2017
a wind-driven fire that originated in the Anlauf Canyon area of Ventura County, California, on December 4, 2017
|TKM||collectively, the Thomas Fire, the Koenigstein Fire and the Montecito Mudslides|
|TKM Subrogation Plaintiffs||the plaintiffs party to the TKM Subrogation Settlement, representing all the insurance subrogation plaintiffs in the TKM litigation|
|TKM Subrogation Settlement||a settlement entered into by Edison International and SCE in September 2020 in the TKM litigation to which the TKM Subrogation Plaintiffs are party|
the number of employees (other than interns) who leave the companies for voluntary or involuntary reasons, excluding death, divided by the average number of employees during the relevant period.
|US EPA||U.S. Environmental Protection Agency|
|VCFD||Ventura County Fire Department|
|WEMA||Wildfire Expense Memorandum Account|
|WMP||a wildfire mitigation plan required to be filed at least once every three years under AB 1054 to describe a utility's plans to construct, operate, and maintain electrical lines and equipment that will help minimize the risk of catastrophic wildfires caused by such electrical lines and equipment|
|Wildfire Insurance Fund||the insurance fund established under AB 1054|
|Woolsey Fire||a wind-driven fire that originated in Ventura County in November 2018|
|Woolsey Subrogation Plaintiffs||the plaintiffs party to the Woolsey Subrogation Settlement, representing all the insurance subrogation plaintiffs in the Woolsey Fire litigation at the time of the settlement|
|Woolsey Subrogation Settlement||a settlement entered into by Edison International and SCE in January 2021 in the Woolsey litigation to which the Woolsey Subrogation Plaintiffs are party|
|WSD||Wildfire Safety Division of the CPUC|
This Annual Report on Form 10-K contains "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements reflect Edison International's and SCE's current expectations and projections about future events based on Edison International's and SCE's knowledge of present facts and circumstances and assumptions about future events and include any statements that do not directly relate to a historical or current fact. Other information distributed by Edison International and SCE that is incorporated in this report, or that refers to or incorporates this report, may also contain forward-looking statements. In this report and elsewhere, the words "expects," "believes," "anticipates," "estimates," "projects," "intends," "plans," "probable," "may," "will," "could," "would," "should," and variations of such words and similar expressions, or discussions of strategy or plans, are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements necessarily involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated. Some of the risks, uncertainties and other important factors that could cause results to differ from those currently expected, or that otherwise could impact Edison International and SCE, include, but are not limited to the:
•ability of SCE to recover its costs through regulated rates, including uninsured wildfire-related and debris flow-related costs, costs incurred to mitigate the risk of utility equipment causing future wildfires, costs incurred to implement SCE's new customer service system and costs incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic;
•ability of SCE to implement its WMP;
•risks of regulatory or legislative restrictions that would limit SCE’s ability to implement PSPS when conditions warrant or would otherwise limit SCE’s operational PSPS practices;
•risks associated with implementing PSPS, including regulatory fines and penalties, claims for damages and reputational harm;
•ability of SCE to maintain a valid safety certification;
•ability to obtain sufficient insurance at a reasonable cost, including insurance relating to SCE's nuclear facilities and wildfire-related claims, and to recover the costs of such insurance or, in the event liabilities exceed insured amounts, the ability to recover uninsured losses from customers or other parties;
•extreme weather-related incidents (including events caused, or exacerbated, by climate change, such as wildfires, debris flows, high wind events and extreme heat events) and other natural disasters (such as earthquakes), which could cause, among other things, public safety issues, property damage, operational issues (such as rotating outages and issues due to damaged infrastructure), PSPS activations and unanticipated costs;
•risks associated with AB 1054 effectively mitigating the significant risk faced by California investor-owned utilities related to liability for damages arising from catastrophic wildfires where utility facilities are alleged to be a substantial cause, including the longevity of the Wildfire Insurance Fund and the CPUC's interpretation of and actions under AB 1054, including its interpretation of the new prudency standard established under AB 1054;
•decisions and other actions by the CPUC, the FERC, the NRC and other governmental authorities, including decisions and actions related to nationwide or statewide crisis, determinations of authorized rates of return or return on equity, the recoverability of wildfire-related and debris flow-related costs, issuance of SCE's wildfire safety certification, wildfire mitigation efforts, and delays in executive, regulatory and legislative actions;
•ability of Edison International or SCE to borrow funds and access bank and capital markets on reasonable terms;
•risks associated with the decommissioning of San Onofre, including those related to worker and public safety, public opposition, permitting, governmental approvals, on-site storage of spent nuclear fuel, delays, contractual disputes, and cost overruns;
•pandemics, such as COVID-19, and other events that cause regional, statewide, national or global disruption, which could impact, among other things, Edison International's and SCE's business, operations, cash flows, liquidity and/or financial results and cause Edison International and SCE to incur unanticipated costs;
•physical security of Edison International's and SCE's critical assets and personnel and the cybersecurity of Edison International's and SCE's critical information technology systems for grid control, and business, employee and customer data;
•risks associated with cost allocation resulting in higher rates for utility bundled service customers because of possible customer bypass or departure for other electricity providers such as CCAs and Electric Service Providers;
•risks inherent in SCE's transmission and distribution infrastructure investment program, including those related to project site identification, public opposition, environmental mitigation, construction, permitting, power curtailment costs (payments due under power contracts in the event there is insufficient transmission to enable acceptance of power delivery), changes in the CAISO's transmission plans, and governmental approvals;
•risks associated with the operation of transmission and distribution assets and power generating facilities, including worker and public safety issues, the risk of utility assets causing or contributing to wildfires, failure, availability, efficiency, and output of equipment and facilities, and availability and cost of spare parts;
•actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade Edison International or SCE's credit ratings or to place those ratings on negative watch or negative outlook;
•changes in tax laws and regulations, at both the state and federal levels, or changes in the application of those laws, that could affect recorded deferred tax assets and liabilities and effective tax rate;
•changes in future taxable income, or changes in tax law, that would limit Edison International's and SCE's realization of expected net operating loss and tax credit carryover benefits prior to expiration;
•changes in the fair value of investments and other assets;
•changes in interest rates and rates of inflation, including escalation rates (which may be adjusted by public utility regulators);
•governmental, statutory, regulatory, or administrative changes or initiatives affecting the electricity industry, including the market structure rules applicable to each market adopted by the NERC, CAISO, Western Electricity Council, and similar regulatory bodies in adjoining regions, and changes in the United States' and California's environmental priorities that lessen the importance the state places on GHG reduction;
•availability and creditworthiness of counterparties and the resulting effects on liquidity in the power and fuel markets and/or the ability of counterparties to pay amounts owed in excess of collateral provided in support of their obligations;
•cost and availability of labor, equipment and materials;
•potential for penalties or disallowance for non-compliance with applicable laws and regulations; and
•cost of fuel for generating facilities and related transportation, which could be impacted by, among other things, disruption of natural gas storage facilities, to the extent not recovered through regulated rate cost escalation provisions or balancing accounts.
Additional information about risks and uncertainties, including more detail about the factors described in this report, is contained throughout this report. Readers are urged to read this entire report, including information incorporated by reference, and carefully consider the risks, uncertainties, and other factors that affect Edison International's and SCE's businesses. Forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and neither Edison International nor SCE are obligated to publicly update or revise forward-looking statements. Readers should review future reports filed by Edison International and SCE with the SEC. Edison International and SCE post or provide direct links to (i) certain SCE and other parties' regulatory filings and documents with the CPUC and the FERC and certain agency rulings and notices in open proceedings in a section titled "SCE Regulatory Highlights," (ii) certain documents and information related to Southern California wildfires which may be of interest to investors in a section titled "Southern California Wildfires," and (iii) presentations, documents and other information that may be of interest to investors in a section titled "Events and Presentations" at www.edisoninvestor.com in order to publicly disseminate such information.
Except when otherwise stated, references to each of Edison International, SCE, or Edison Energy Group mean each such company with its subsidiaries on a consolidated basis. References to "Edison International Parent and Other" mean Edison International Parent and its consolidated competitive subsidiaries and "Edison International Parent" mean Edison International on a stand-alone basis, not consolidated with its subsidiaries. Unless otherwise described, all the information contained in this report relates to both filers.
MANAGEMENT'S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
The discussion related to the results of operations and changes in financial condition for 2019 compared to 2018 is incorporated by reference to Part II, Item 7. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in Edison International's and SCE's combined Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2019, which was filed with the SEC in February 2020.
Highlights of Operating Results
Edison International is the parent holding company of SCE and Edison Energy Group. SCE is an investor-owned public utility primarily engaged in the business of supplying and delivering electricity to an approximately 50,000 square mile area of southern California. Edison Energy Group is a holding company for Edison Energy which is engaged in the competitive business of providing data-driven energy solutions to commercial, institutional and industrial customers. Edison Energy's business activities are currently not material to report as a separate business segment.
|(in millions)||2020||2019||2020 vs 2019 Change||2018|
|Net income (loss) attributable to Edison International|| || || || |
|SCE||$||810 ||$||1,409 ||$||(599)||$||(310)|
|Edison International Parent and Other||(71)||(125)||54 ||(147)|
|Discontinued operations||— ||— ||— ||34 |
|Edison International||739 ||1,284 ||(545)||(423)|
|Less: Non-core items|| || || || |
|2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events claims and expenses, net of recoveries||(899)||(157)||(742)||(1,825)|
|Wildfire Insurance Fund expense||(242)||(109)||(133)||— |
|Disallowed historical capital expenditures in SCE's 2018 GRC decision||— ||(123)||123 ||— |
|Sale of San Onofre nuclear fuel||108 ||8 ||100 ||9 |
|Re-measurement of tax assets and liabilities||18 ||88 ||(70)||66 |
| Edison International Parent and Other|
|Sale of Vidalia lease||96 ||— ||96 ||— |
|Goodwill impairment||(25)||(18)||(7)||— |
|Sale of SoCore Energy and other||— ||— ||— ||(46)|
|Re-measurement of tax liabilities||(3)||— ||(3)||(12)|
|Discontinued operations||— ||— ||— ||34 |
|Total non-core items||(947)||(311)||(636)||(1,774)|
|Core earnings (losses)|| || || |
|SCE||1,825 ||1,702 ||123 ||1,440 |
|Edison International Parent and Other||(139)||(107)||(32)||(89)|
|Edison International||$||1,686 ||$||1,595 ||$||91 ||$||1,351 |
Edison International's earnings are prepared in accordance with GAAP. Management uses core earnings (losses) internally for financial planning and for analysis of performance. Core earnings (losses) are also used when communicating with investors and analysts regarding Edison International's earnings results to facilitate comparisons of the company's performance from period to period. Core earnings (losses) are a non-GAAP financial measure and may not be comparable to those of other companies. Core earnings (losses) are defined as earnings attributable to Edison International shareholders less non-core items. Non-core items include income or loss from discontinued operations and income or loss from significant discrete items that management does not consider representative of ongoing earnings, such as write downs, asset impairments and other
income and expense related to changes in law, outcomes in tax, regulatory or legal proceedings, and exit activities, including sale of certain assets and other activities that are no longer continuing.
Edison International's 2020 earnings decreased $545 million, driven by a decrease in SCE's earnings of $599 million, partially offset by a decrease in Edison International Parent and Other losses of $54 million. SCE's lower net income consisted of $722 million of higher non-core losses, partially offset by $123 million of higher core earnings.
The increase in SCE's core earnings was primarily due to higher CPUC-related revenue due to the escalation mechanism as set forth in the 2018 GRC decision, lower expenses from regulatory deferrals related to 2020 wildfire mitigation activities and a 2020 adjustment to 2018 – 2019 regulatory deferrals from the approval of the GRC track 2 settlement. These increases were partially offset by the impact from the adoption of the 2018 GRC decision in the second quarter of 2019, higher employee benefits, higher customer uncollectibles from the COVID-19 pandemic and expenses from SCE's response to the pandemic that were unable to be deferred to regulatory assets.
Edison International Parent and Other's decrease in losses for 2020 was primarily due to higher non-core earnings of $86 million, partially offset by higher core losses of $32 million. The increase in core losses in 2020 was primarily due to higher interest expense as a result of increased borrowings.
Consolidated non-core items for 2020 and 2019 for Edison International included:
•Charges of $1.2 billion ($899 million after-tax) recorded in 2020 and $218 million ($157 million after-tax) recorded in 2019 for SCE's 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events claims and expenses, net of expected recoveries from FERC customers.
•Charges of $336 million ($242 million after-tax) recorded in 2020 and $152 million ($109 million after-tax) recorded in 2019 from the amortization of SCE's contributions to the Wildfire Insurance Fund. See "Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 12. Commitments and Contingencies" for further information.
•Gains of $150 million ($108 million after-tax) recorded in 2020 and $11 million ($8 million after-tax) recorded in 2019 for SCE's sale of San Onofre nuclear fuel.
•Gain of $132 million ($96 million after-tax) recorded in 2020 for Edison International Parent and Other's sale of an investment in a lease of a hydroelectric power plant in Vidalia, Louisiana ("Vidalia Lease"). See "Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 13. Leases" for further information.
•Goodwill impairment charges of $34 million ($25 million after-tax) recorded in 2020 and $25 million ($18 million after-tax) recorded in 2019 for Edison International Parent and Other related to Edison Energy.
•An income tax benefit of $18 million and income tax expense of $3 million recorded in 2020 for SCE and Edison International Parent and Other, respectively, due to re-measurement of uncertain tax positions related to the 2010 – 2012 California state tax filings currently under audit.
•An impairment charge of $170 million ($123 million after-tax) recorded in 2019 for SCE related to disallowed historical capital expenditures in SCE's 2018 GRC final decision.
•Income tax benefits of $88 million recorded in 2019 for SCE related to changes in the allocation of deferred tax re-measurement between customers and shareholders as a result of a CPUC resolution issued in February 2019 to provide guidance on the implementation of Tax Reform. The resolution determined that customers are only entitled to excess deferred taxes which were included when setting rates and other deferred tax re-measurement belongs to shareholders.
See "Results of Operations" for discussion of SCE and Edison International Parent and Other results of operations.
Southern California Wildfires and Mudslides
Wildfires in SCE's territory, including those where SCE's equipment may be alleged to be associated with the fire's ignition, have caused loss of life and substantial damage in recent years. Multiple factors have contributed to increased wildfire activity and faster progression of wildfires across SCE's service territory and in other areas of California. These include the buildup of dry vegetation in areas severely impacted by years of historic drought, lack of adequate clearing of hazardous fuels by responsible parties, higher temperatures, lower humidity, increased incidence of dry lightning, and strong Santa Ana winds. At the same time that wildfire risk has been increasing in Southern California, residential and commercial development has occurred and is occurring in some of the highest-risk areas. Such factors can increase the likelihood and extent of wildfires. SCE has determined that approximately 27% of its service territory is in areas identified as high fire risk.
California has experienced unprecedented weather conditions in recent years and SCE's service territory remains susceptible to additional wildfire activity in 2021 and beyond. The worsening conditions across California increase the likelihood of wildfires, including those where SCE's equipment may be alleged to be associated with the fire's ignition. In response to worsening weather and fuel conditions and increased wildfire activity over the past several years, SCE has developed and is implementing its 2020 – 2022 WMP to reduce the risk of SCE equipment contributing to the ignition of wildfires. In addition, California has increased its investment in wildfire suppression capabilities.
In addition to the investments SCE is making through its WMP, SCE also uses its PSPS program to proactively de-energize power lines to mitigate the risk of catastrophic wildfires during extreme weather events. SCE initiated PSPS 12 times in 2020 as part of its wildfire mitigation efforts, impacting an aggregate of approximately 140,000 unique customers. In January 2021, the President of the CPUC sent SCE a letter expressing her concern regarding SCE's execution of PSPS in 2020 and notifying SCE that it must implement a PSPS action plan to reduce the impacts of PSPS on the customers and communities it serves. On a risk-informed basis, SCE is making efforts to reduce the frequency and impacts of PSPS in 2021 as compared to 2020, assuming that weather patterns in 2021 are similar to those experienced in 2020. SCE may be subject to mandated changes to, or restrictions on, its operational PSPS practices, regulatory fines and penalties, claims for damages and reputational harm if SCE does not execute PSPS in compliance with applicable rules and regulations or if it is determined that SCE has placed excessive reliance on PSPS.
Edison International and SCE have incurred material losses in connection with the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events described below. Several wildfires have originated in Southern California subsequent to 2018, however, Edison International and SCE expect that any losses incurred in connection with these fires will be covered by insurance, subject to self-insured retentions and co-insurance, and expect that any such losses after insurance recoveries will not be material.
Edison International and SCE accrued estimated losses of $1,328 million in 2020 for wildfire-related claims, net of expected insurance recoveries. The 2020 charge consists of an increase in estimated losses for claims related to the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events of $1,297 million, against which SCE has recorded expected recoveries through FERC electric rates of $84 million. The resulting charge was $1,213 million ($874 million after-tax). The 2020 charge also includes $31 million ($21 million after FERC recovery and after-tax) of expenses primarily associated with self-insured retention related to the 2019/2020 Wildfires.
2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events
Wildfires in SCE's territory in December 2017 and November 2018 caused loss of life, substantial damage to both residential and business properties, and service outages for SCE customers. The investigating government agencies, the VCFD and California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection ("CAL FIRE"), have determined that the largest of the 2017 fires in SCE's territory originated on December 4, 2017, in the Anlauf Canyon area of Ventura County (the investigating agencies refer to this fire as the "Thomas Fire"), followed shortly thereafter by the Koenigstein Fire. The December 4, 2017 fires eventually burned substantial acreage in both Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties. The largest of the November 2018 fires in SCE's territory, known as the Woolsey Fire, originated in Ventura County and burned acreage in both Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.
In March 2019, the VCFD and CAL FIRE jointly issued separate reports finding that the Thomas Fire and the Koenigstein Fire were each caused by SCE equipment. At this time, based on available information, SCE has not determined whether its equipment caused the Thomas Fire. Based on publicly available radar data showing a smoke plume in the Anlauf Canyon area emerging in advance of the start time of the Thomas Fire indicated in the Thomas Fire report, SCE believes that the Thomas Fire started at least 12 minutes prior to any issue involving SCE's system and at least 15 minutes prior to the start time indicated in the report. SCE has previously disclosed that SCE believed its equipment was associated with the ignition of the Koenigstein Fire. SCE is continuing to assess the extent of damages that may be attributable to the Thomas Fire and the Koenigstein Fire.
SCE has received a non-final redacted draft of a report from the VCFD which states that the VCFD investigation team determined that electrical equipment owned and operated by SCE was the cause of the Woolsey Fire. Absent additional evidence, SCE believes that it is likely that its equipment was associated with the ignition of the Woolsey Fire.
Multiple lawsuits related to the Thomas and Koenigstein Fires and the Woolsey Fire have been initiated against SCE and Edison International. Some of the Thomas and Koenigstein Fires lawsuits claim that SCE and Edison International have responsibility for the damages caused by the Montecito Mudslides that occurred in January 2018 based on a theory alleging that SCE has responsibility for the Thomas and/or Koenigstein Fires and further alleging that the Thomas and/or Koenigstein Fires proximately caused the Montecito Mudslides.
Under the terms of the TKM Subrogation Settlement that Edison International and SCE entered into in the third quarter of 2020, all of the TKM Subrogation Plaintiffs' collective claims arising from the Thomas Fire, Koenigstein Fire or Montecito Mudslides have been resolved. Under the terms of the TKM Subrogation Settlement, SCE has paid the TKM Subrogation Plaintiffs an aggregate of $1.2 billion and also agreed to pay $0.555 for each dollar in claims to be paid by the TKM Subrogation Plaintiffs to their policy holders on or before July 15, 2023, up to an agreed upon cap. In 2020 SCE also entered into settlements with individual plaintiffs in the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events litigation under which it agreed to pay an aggregate of approximately $300 million to those individual plaintiffs.
At December 31, 2019, Edison International and SCE were unable to determine a best estimate of expected losses within a reasonably estimated range and therefore Edison International's and SCE's consolidated balance sheets included estimated losses, established at the lower end of the reasonably estimated range of expected losses, of $4.5 billion for the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events. In light of the TKM Subrogation Settlement and increased settlement activity with individual plaintiffs in the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events litigation, among other things, management established a best estimate of expected potential losses for alleged and potential claims related to the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events litigation in the third quarter of 2020. As a result, Edison International and SCE recorded a charge of $1.3 billion in September 2020 related to the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events, against which SCE recorded expected recoveries through FERC electric rates of $84 million. The resulting net pre-tax charge to earnings was $1.2 billion ($874 million after-tax).
Through December 31, 2020, Edison International and SCE have recorded total pre-tax charges of $6.2 billion, expected recoveries from insurance of $2.0 billion and expected recoveries through FERC electric rates of $233 million related to the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events. The after-tax net charges to earnings recorded through December 31, 2020 have been $2.9 billion.
As of December 31, 2020, SCE had paid $1.8 billion under settlements related to the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events, of which $1.3 billion has been recovered through insurance and $144 million has been recovered through FERC-jurisdictional electric rates.
In January 2021, Edison International and SCE entered into the Woolsey Subrogation Settlement with the Woolsey Subrogation Plaintiffs to resolve those parties' collective claims arising from the Woolsey Fire. Under the terms of the Woolsey Subrogation Settlement, SCE agreed to pay the Woolsey Subrogation Plaintiffs an aggregate of $2.2 billion by April 22, 2021. SCE has also agreed to pay $0.67 for each dollar in claims to be paid by the Woolsey Subrogation Plaintiffs to their policy holders on or before July 15, 2023, up to an agreed upon cap. Between December 31, 2020 and February 18, 2021, SCE also entered into settlements with individual plaintiffs in the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events litigation under which it agreed to pay an aggregate of approximately $80 million to those individual plaintiffs. After giving effect to all settlements entered into through February 18, 2021, Edison International and SCE's best estimate of expected losses for remaining alleged and potential claims related to the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events will be $2.1 billion.
The remaining estimated losses for the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events do not include an estimate of any potential fines or penalties that could be levied against SCE in connection with the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events. Edison International and SCE are currently unable to reasonably estimate the magnitude of any such fines or penalties, or the associated timing if they were to be imposed. Estimated losses for the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events litigation are based on a number of assumptions and are subject to change as additional information becomes available. Actual losses incurred may be higher or lower than estimated based on several factors, including: the uncertainty as to the legal and factual determinations to be made during litigation, including uncertainty as to the contributing causes of the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events, the complexities associated with fires that merge, whether inverse condemnation will be held applicable to SCE with respect to damages caused by the Montecito Mudslides, the preliminary nature of the litigation processes, the uncertainty in estimating damages that may be alleged, and the uncertainty as to how these factors impact future settlements.
SCE will seek CPUC-jurisdictional rate recovery of prudently-incurred, actual losses realized in connection with the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events in excess of available insurance. SCE believes that, in light of the CPUC's decision in a
cost recovery proceeding involving SDG&E arising from several 2007 wildfires in SDG&E's service area, there is substantial uncertainty regarding how the CPUC will interpret and apply its prudency standard to an investor-owned utility in future wildfire cost-recovery proceedings for fires ignited prior to July 12, 2019. Accordingly, while the CPUC has not made a determination regarding SCE's prudency relative to any of the 2017/2018 Wildfire/Mudslide Events, SCE is unable to conclude, at this time, that uninsured CPUC-jurisdictional wildfire-related costs are probable of recovery through electric rates.
Current Wildfire Insurance Coverage
SCE has approximately $1.0 billion of wildfire-specific insurance coverage for events that may occur during the period July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021, subject to up to $80 million of co-insurance and $50 million of self-insured retention, which results in net coverage of approximately $870 million. Various coverage limitations within the policies that make up SCE's wildfire insurance coverage could result in additional material self-insured costs, for instance in the event of multiple wildfire occurrences during a policy period. SCE believes that its insurance coverage for the July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021 period meets its obligation to maintain reasonable insurance coverage under AB 1054.
2019 Wildfire Legislation
In July 2019, AB 1054 was signed by the governor of California and became effective immediately. The summary of the wildfire legislation in this report is based on SCE's interpretation of the legislation and is qualified in its entirety by, and should be read together with, AB 1054 and companion Assembly Bill 111.
AB 1054 Prudency Standard
Under AB 1054, the CPUC must apply a new standard when assessing the prudency of a utility in connection with a request for recovery of wildfire costs for wildfires ignited after July 12, 2019. Under AB 1054, the CPUC is required to find a utility to be prudent if the utility's conduct related to the ignition was consistent with actions that a reasonable utility would have undertaken under similar circumstances, at the relevant point in time, and based on the information available at that time. Utilities with a valid safety certification will be presumed to have acted prudently related to a wildfire ignition unless a party in the cost recovery proceeding creates serious doubt as to the reasonableness of the utility's conduct, at which time, the burden shifts back to the utility to prove its conduct was reasonable. If a utility does not have a valid safety certification, it will have the burden to prove, based on a preponderance of evidence, that its conduct was prudent. The new prudency standard will survive the termination of the Wildfire Insurance Fund (described below).
Utilities participating in the Wildfire Insurance Fund are not required to reimburse the fund for amounts withdrawn from the fund that the CPUC finds were prudently incurred and can recover such prudently incurred wildfire costs through electric rates if the fund has been exhausted.
Wildfire Insurance Fund
AB 1054 provided for the Wildfire Insurance Fund to reimburse a utility for payment of third-party damage claims arising from certain wildfires that exceed, in aggregate in a calendar year, the greater of $1.0 billion or the insurance coverage required to be maintained under AB 1054. The Wildfire Insurance Fund was established in September 2019 and is available for claims related to wildfires ignited after July 12, 2019 that are determined by the responsible government investigatory agency to have been caused by a utility.
SCE and SDG&E collectively made their initial contributions totaling approximately $2.7 billion to the Wildfire Insurance Fund in September 2019. Upon its emergence from bankruptcy, on July 1, 2020, PG&E made its initial contribution of approximately $4.8 billion to the Wildfire Insurance Fund. PG&E, SCE and SDG&E are also collectively expected to make aggregate contributions of approximately $3.0 billion to the Wildfire Insurance Fund through annual contributions to the fund over a 10-year period, of which they have made two annual contributions totaling approximately $600 million. In addition to PG&E's, SCE's and SDG&E's contributions to the Wildfire Insurance Fund, PG&E, SCE and SDG&E are expected to collect $6.1 billion, $6.1 billion and $1.3 billion, respectively, from their customers over a 15-year period through a dedicated rate component. The amount collected from customers may be directly contributed to the Wildfire Insurance Fund or used to support the issuance of up to $10.5 billion in bonds by the California Department of Water Resources, the proceeds of which would be contributed to the fund. In addition to funding contributions to the Wildfire Insurance Fund, the amount collected from utility customers will pay for, among other things, any interest and financing costs related to any bonds that are issued by the California Department of Water Resources to support the contributions to the Wildfire Insurance Fund.
Through December 31, 2020, SCE has contributed approximately $2.6 billion to the Wildfire Insurance Fund and has committed to make eight annual contributions of approximately $95 million per year to the fund, by no later than January 1 of each year. Edison International supported SCE's initial contribution of $2.4 billion to the Wildfire Insurance Fund by raising $1.2 billion from the issuance of Edison International equity. SCE raised the remaining $1.2 billion from the issuance of long-term debt. SCE's contributions to the Wildfire Insurance Fund will not be recoverable through electric rates and will be excluded from the measurement of SCE's CPUC-jurisdictional authorized capital structure. SCE will also not be entitled to cost recovery for any borrowing costs incurred in connection with its contributions to the Wildfire Insurance Fund.
Reimbursement from Wildfire Insurance Fund and AB 1054 Liability Cap
Participating investor-owned utilities will be reimbursed from the Wildfire Insurance Fund for eligible claims, subject to the fund administrator's review. SCE will reimburse the fund for any withdrawn amounts if SCE receives payment of such amounts under an indemnification agreement or from an insurance provider or other third-party. SCE will also be required to reimburse the fund for withdrawn amounts that the CPUC disallows subject, in some instances, to the AB 1054 Liability Cap. A utility will not be eligible for the AB 1054 Liability Cap if it does not maintain a valid safety certification or its actions or inactions that resulted in the wildfire are found to constitute conscious or willful disregard of the rights and safety of others. Based on SCE's forecasted weighted-average 2021 rate base and using the equity portion of SCE's CPUC authorized capital structure of 52%, SCE's requirement to reimburse the Wildfire Insurance Fund for eligible claims disallowed in 2021 would be capped at approximately $3.2 billion. SCE will not be allowed to recover borrowing costs incurred to reimburse the fund for amounts that the CPUC disallows. The Wildfire Insurance Fund and, consequently, the AB 1054 Liability Cap will terminate when the administrator determines that the fund has been exhausted.
Safety Certification and Wildfire Mitigation Plan
Under AB 1054, SCE can obtain an annual safety certification upon the submission of certain required safety information, including an approved WMP. On September 17, 2020, SCE obtained a safety certification that will be valid for 12 months. Notwithstanding its 12-month term, if SCE requests a new safety certification prior to the expiration of its current safety certification, then its current safety certification will remain valid until the WSD acts on SCE's request for a new safety certification.
Under AB 1054, SCE is required to submit a WMP to the CPUC at least once every three years for review and approval. Beginning in 2020, each such plan was required to cover at least a three-year period. SCE filed its 2020 – 2022 WMP in February 2020. In June 2020, the CPUC ratified the WSD's conditional approval of SCE's 2020 – 2022 WMP. The approval is conditioned on SCE providing requested information to the WSD, including additional descriptions of how SCE is implementing, and will implement, certain requirements imposed by the WSD. SCE filed an update to its 2020 – 2022 WMP on February 5, 2021 to, among other things, report on implementation of its plan in 2020 and describe new and ongoing wildfire mitigation activities.
Capital Expenditure Requirement
Under AB 1054, approximately $1.6 billion of spending by SCE on wildfire risk mitigation capital expenditures made after August 1, 2019, cannot be included in the equity portion of SCE's rate base. SCE can apply for irrevocable orders from the CPUC to finance these AB 1054 Excluded Capital Expenditures, including through the issuance of securitized bonds, and can recover any prudently incurred financing costs. In November 2020, the CPUC issued an irrevocable order permitting SCE to finance approximately $340 million, comprised of AB 1054 Excluded Capital Expenditures incurred in connection with GS&RP and prudently incurred financing costs, through the issuance of securitized bonds. As of December 31, 2020, SCE has spent $1.3 billion on AB 1054 Excluded Capital Expenditures and expects to spend the remainder of the AB 1054 Excluded Capital Expenditures in the first quarter of 2021. SCE issued securitized bonds in the amount of $338 million in February 2021 and expects to seek additional irrevocable orders from the CPUC to finance the remaining AB 1054 Excluded Capital Expenditures.
For further information, see "Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 1. Summary of Significant Accounting Policies—Initial and annual contributions to the wildfire insurance fund established pursuant to California Assembly Bill 1054" and "Notes to Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 12. Commitments and Contingencies—Contingencies—Southern California Wildfires and Mudslides."
The COVID-19 pandemic is having a significant impact on global society and economies. As a result of the pandemic, Edison International and SCE have experienced increased costs, but the pandemic has not had a pervasive impact on SCE's or Edison International's ability to operate their business. Edison International and SCE have taken steps to mitigate the impacts to operations, with all employees who, in the companies' assessment, can work remotely and perform their job functions effectively, directed to do so. Employees and contract workers designated by California as essential workers continue to work at SCE facilities or in the field to maintain operations and perform critical work to protect public safety and reduce the risk of wildfires. Edison International and SCE have modified work practices, provided personal protective equipment and provided additional employee benefits, among other measures, to reduce the impacts of the pandemic on their workforce.
Decoupling revenue mechanisms in California allow for differences in revenue resulting from actual and forecast volumetric electricity sales to be collected from or refunded to ratepayers and therefore insulate SCE's earnings from reductions in electricity usage. However, the CPUC has implemented certain measures to assist customers during the pandemic, including suspending service disconnections due to nonpayment for residential and small business customers, waiving late payment fees for business customers, and offering flexible payment plans for customers experiencing difficulty paying their electric bills. Accordingly, days outstanding on receivables and uncollectible accounts have increased.
In March 2020, the governor of California announced a statewide emergency as part of the state's response to address the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, SCE established memorandum accounts with CPUC approval, effective March 2020, to track incremental costs associated with the emergency for recovery, subject to CPUC reasonableness reviews.
As a direct result of the pandemic, as of December 31, 2020, SCE has recognized net incremental costs of $191 million primarily related to increased estimates of customer uncollectibles, sequestering certain SCE employees at essential work locations and coordination of SCE's response to the emergency, $176 million has been deferred to memorandum accounts for future CPUC reasonableness review and $15 million has been transferred to balancing accounts pending recovery.
For further information see "Notes to the Consolidated Financial Statements—Note 11. Regulatory Assets and Liabilities" and "Risk Factors." Legislation was passed in California in September 2020 allowing for securitization of revenue shortfalls associated with the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, subject to approval of a financing order by the CPUC.
2021 General Rate Case
The 2021 GRC consists of four separate tracks. Track 1 is similar to previous GRCs and addresses revenue requirements for the three-year period 2021 – 2023. Tracks 2 and 3 address the reasonableness of 2018 – 2019 and 2020 wildfire mitigation costs that were incremental to amounts authorized in the 2018 GRC, respectively. In January 2020, a CPUC decision introduced a third attrition year in current and future GRCs. As a result, track 4 will address the revenue requirement for 2024. SCE is scheduled to submit its testimony for track 4 in May 2022.
In January 2021, the CPUC approved a settlement between SCE and all the parties to track 2 of the 2021 GRC proceeding (collectively, the "Track 2 Parties"). As a result of the CPUC approval of the GRC track 2 settlement, an additional $41 million ($29 million after-tax) of operations and maintenance expenses were deferred in the fourth quarter of 2020 as probable of recovery. The revenue requirement under the settlement was $391 million. For more information on tracks 2 and 3 of the 2021 GRC, see "Liquidity and Capital Resources—SCE—Regulatory Proceedings—Wildfire Related Regulatory Proceedings—2021 General Rate Case Wildfire Mitigation Memorandum Account Balances."
Track 1 of 2021 GRC
In the 2021 GRC, SCE has requested a test year revenue requirement of $7.6 billion, an approximately $1.3 billion increase over the 2020 revenue requirement authorized in the 2018 GRC as updated for post test-year ratemaking changes. SCE's request proposes post test-year increases in 2022 and 2023 of $452 million and $524 million, respectively. SCE's request excludes the revenue requirement associated with the approximately $1.6 billion of AB 1054 Excluded Capital Expenditures.
SCE's requested increase to its revenue requirement in the 2021 GRC application is largely due to SCE's efforts to reduce wildfire risk. Certain of SCE's key wildfire mitigation forecast expenditures are subject to significant potential volatility. As a result, SCE has proposed establishing two-way balancing accounts for wildfire mitigation-related enhanced vegetation management, inspection activities and grid hardening, as well as for insurance premiums.
The capital programs requested in SCE's 2021 GRC include the infrastructure and programs necessary to implement California's ambitious public policy goals, including wildfire mitigation, de-carbonization of the economy through electrification and integration of distributed energy resources across a rapidly modernizing grid. See "—Capital Program" for further details.
In an amendment submitted in February 2020, SCE removed its CSRP implementation costs from the 2021 GRC. SCE will continue to track the cost of the CSRP implementation in a memorandum account previously approved in the 2018 GRC and seek recovery of the CSRP implementation costs in a future application to be filled with the CPUC.
In April and May 2020, intervenors to the 2021 GRC proceeding, including the CPUC Public Advocates Office ("Cal Advocates") and The Utility Reform Network ("TURN"), submitted testimony in response to SCE's August 2019 application as revised and amended. Cal Advocates proposed reductions to 2021 operation and maintenance spending of $423 million or 15% of the total, and reductions to 2021 capital spending of $445 million or 9% of the total. TURN proposed reductions to 2021 operation and maintenance spending of $556 million or 17% of the total, and reductions to 2021 capital spending of $714 million or 14% of the total. The reductions to capital expenditures proposed by both parties included significant proposed reductions to SCE's Wildfire Covered Conductor Program. If adopted, the proposals of Cal Advocates and TURN would result in a 2021 revenue requirement of approximately $6.9 billion and $6.7 billion, respectively.
SCE believes that receiving a proposed decision on track 1 of the 2021 GRC in the first quarter of 2021 in line with the CPUC’s schedule for track 1 is unlikely. The CPUC has approved the establishment of a memorandum account making the authorized revenue requirement changes effective January 1, 2021. SCE cannot predict the revenue requirement the CPUC will ultimately authorize or forecast the timing of a final decision. SCE expects to recognize revenue based on the 2020 authorized revenue requirement until a GRC decision is issued.
Wildfire Mitigation, Wildfire Insurance and Restoration Expenses
In response to the increase in wildfire activity, and faster progression of and increased damage from wildfires across SCE's service territory and throughout California, SCE is currently incurring wildfire mitigation, wildfire insurance and wildfire and drought restoration related spending at levels significantly exceeding amounts authorized in its 2018 GRC. Several regulatory mechanisms exist to allow SCE to track and seek recovery of these incremental costs through customer rates, or issuance of securitized bonds for AB 1054 Excluded Capital Expenditures. In accordance with the accounting standards applicable to rate-regulated enterprises, SCE defers costs as regulatory assets that are probable of future recovery from customers. For certain wildfire mitigation and wildfire insurance expenses SCE performs its assessment of future recovery after its year to date spending exceeds the amounts authorized for the full calendar year under its current revenue requirement.
As of December 31, 2020, SCE has recognized $886 million of regulatory assets related to incremental wildfire mitigation expenses, including depreciation expense from $1.6 billion of total incremental wildfire mitigation capital expenditures. Additionally, SCE has recognized $356 million of regulatory assets associated with drought and wildfire restoration and $212 million of regulatory assets related to incremental wildfire insurance expenses. While SCE believes such costs are probable of future recovery, there is no assurance that SCE will collect all amounts currently deferred as regulatory assets. In 2020, the CPUC has approved recovery of certain incremental wildfire mitigation and wildfire insurance expenses through SCE's GS&RP and WEMA proceedings. The following table presents changes in wildfire-related and wildfire and drought restoration memorandum account balances in 2020:
|Balance at December 31, 2019||$||868 |
|Regulatory deferral ||1,225 |
|Less: approved for recovery and transferred to BRRBA||(628)|
Balance at December 31, 20201
1 Includes interest expense of $11 million.
At December 31, 2020, the balance includes $405 million of expense approved for recovery in the GRC track 2 proceeding. In February 2021, SCE indicated its intent to seek a financing order from the CPUC to securitize the approved expense. In the event these costs are not authorized for securitization, SCE will include the costs in customer rates as soon as practicable.
For additional information, see "Liquidity and Capital Resources—SCE—Regulatory Proceedings—Wildfire Related Regulatory Proceedings."
Electricity Industry Trends
The electric power industry is undergoing transformative change driven by technological advances, such as customer-owned generation, electric vehicles and energy storage, which are altering the nature of energy generation and delivery. California is committed to reducing its GHG emissions, improving local air quality and supporting continued economic growth. The state set goals to reduce GHG emissions by 40% from 1990 levels by 2030 and 80% from the same baseline by 2050. Additionally, the state is aiming to be carbon neutral by 2045. State and local air quality plans call for substantial improvements. In the most polluted areas of the state this includes reducing smog-causing nitrogen oxides 90% below 2010 levels by 2032. While these policy goals cannot be achieved by the electric sector alone, the electric grid is a critical enabler of the adoption of new energy technologies that support California's climate change and GHG reduction objectives. Therefore, California has set RPS targets which require California retail sellers of electricity to provide 60% of energy sales from renewable resources by 2030. California also requires sellers of electricity to deliver 100% of retail sales from carbon free sources by 2045. In 2020 approximately 43% of SCE's customer deliveries came from carbon-free resources. SCE anticipates it will meet California's requirements through 2045.
The new federal administration has also signaled support for increased measures to respond to climate change and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 by having the United States rejoin the Paris Agreement in January 2021 and by issuing executive orders that aim to electrify federal fleets and set electric vehicle charging goals.
Edison International believes that California's 2045 goals can be achieved most economically through emissions reductions from using clean electricity serving 100% of retail sales, electrifying 76% of light-duty vehicles, 67% of medium-duty vehicles, 38% of heavy-duty vehicles, 85% of buses and 70% of buildings and using low-carbon fuels for technologies that are not yet viable for electrification. California has shown strong long-term support of transportation electrification. as shown by the approval of SCE’s Charge Ready 2 program and the Governor of California's September 2020 Executive Order banning sales of new gas vehicles by 2035.
To support these goals, Edison International’s vision is to lead the transformation of the electric power industry and the company is focused on opportunities in delivering clean energy, advancing efficient electrification, building a modernized and more reliable grid, and enabling customers' technology choices. SCE is focused on improving the safety, reliability and resilience of the transmission and distribution network and enabling increased penetration of DERs, electric transportation, building electrification and energy efficiency programs. SCE's ongoing focus to drive operational and service excellence is intended to allow it to achieve these objectives safely while controlling costs and customer rates. SCE's focus on the transmission and distribution of electricity aligns with California's policy supporting competitive power procurement markets. For more information on the grid development, see "Liquidity and Capital Resources—SCE—Capital Investment Plan—Grid Development—Wildfire Mitigation" and "Liquidity and Capital Resources—SCE—Capital Investment Plan—Grid Development—Transportation Electrification."
Changes in the electric power industry are impacting customers and jurisdictions outside California as well. Edison International believes that other states will also pursue climate change and GHG reduction objectives and large commercial and industrial customers will continue to pursue cost reduction and sustainability goals. Edison Energy provides data-driven energy solutions to commercial, institutional and industrial customers who may be impacted by these changes. Edison Energy aims to provide energy solutions that address cost, carbon and complex choices for their customers.
To better engage in this broader transformation and provide a view of developments outside of SCE, Edison International has made several minority investments in emerging companies in areas related to the technology changes that are driving industry transformation and may make additional investments in the future. These investments are not financially material to Edison International.
Total capital expenditures (including accruals) were $5.5 billion in 2020 and $4.8 billion in 2019. SCE's year-end rate base was $34.7 billion at December 31, 2020 compared to $32.6 billion at December 31, 2019, after excluding rate base associated with AB 1054 Excluded Capital Expenditures of $875 million at December 31, 2020 and $252 million at December 31, 2019.
In connection with the 2021 GRC, SCE forecasts capital expenditures of $14.7 billion to $16.2 billion for 2021– 2023. In the absence of a 2021 GRC decision, SCE has developed, and is executing against, a 2021 capital expenditure plan that will allow SCE to meet what is ultimately authorized in the 2021 GRC decision while minimizing the associated risk of unauthorized spending.
The table below reflects capital expenditures for 2021 based on planned CPUC jurisdictional spending and current management expectations of FERC- jurisdictional spending. CPUC jurisdictional spending includes amounts requested in the
2021 GRC, updated in rebuttal testimony, spending associated with SCE's wildfire mitigation-related capital expenditures under the GS&RP and WMP, and other non-GRC CPUC capital spending. The CPUC jurisdictional capital spending in 2022 and 2023 will be dependent upon the amount approved in a final 2021 GRC decision. Forecasted expenditures for FERC capital projects are subject to change due to timeliness of permitting, licensing, regulatory approvals, and contractor bids.
SCE's forecasted capital expenditures for 2021 include approximately $113 million of capital spending on the CSRP project. Total forecasted capital expenditures for the CSRP project are approximately $540 million from inception through 2021. In the 2021 GRC, SCE provided a cost estimate to the CPUC of $308 million in capital expenditures for the CSRP program. In February 2020, SCE filed an update with the CPUC to exclude CSRP implementation costs from rate base and capital expenditures of the 2021 GRC application and to defer review of the reasonableness of the capital expenditures to a future regulatory proceeding SCE expects to file in 2021.
Based on management judgment using historical precedent of previously authorized amounts and potential permitting delays and other operational considerations, a range case has been provided reflecting a 10% reduction on the total capital forecast over the three-year period, 2021 – 2023. The completion of projects, the timing of expenditures, and the associated cost recovery may be affected by permitting requirements and delays, construction schedules, availability of labor, equipment and materials, financing, legal and regulatory approvals and developments, community requests or protests, weather and other unforeseen conditions.
The following table sets forth a summary of capital expenditures for 2020 actual spend and a forecast for 2021 – 2023 on the basis described above:
2021 – 2023
|Traditional capital expenditures|
|Distribution||$||3.8 ||$||3.4 ||$||3.3 ||$||3.3 ||$||10.0 |
|Transmission||0.7 ||0.7 ||0.7 ||0.6 ||2.0 |
|Generation||0.2 ||0.2 ||0.2 ||0.2 ||0.6 |
|Subtotal||4.7 ||4.3 ||4.2 ||4.1 ||12.6 |
|Wildfire mitigation-related capital expenditures||0.8 ||1.2 ||1.1 ||1.3 ||3.6 |
|Total capital expenditures||$||5.5 ||$||5.5 ||$||5.3 ||$||5.4 ||$||16.2 |
|Total capital expenditures using range case discussed above||*||$||5.4 ||$||4.6 ||$||4.7 ||$||14.7 |
* Not applicable
SCE's authorized CPUC-jurisdictional rate base is determined through the GRC and other regulatory proceedings. Differences between actual and CPUC-authorized capital expenditures are addressed in subsequent GRC or other regulatory proceedings. FERC-jurisdictional rate base is generally determined based on actual capital expenditures.
Reflected below is SCE's weighted average annual rate base for 2020 – 2023 incorporating CPUC capital expenditures authorized in the 2018 GRC final decision, expected FERC capital expenditures, capital expenditures included in the 2021 GRC request and approved non-GRC projects or programs. The table below does not reflect the $1.3 billion of AB 1054 Excluded Capital Expenditures to December 31, 2020 or the planned $0.3 billion of such expenditures in 2021. The table below does not reflect rate base associated with non-GRC projects or programs that have not yet been approved by the CPUC, including CSRP and wildfire restoration costs. Inclusion of these in rate base will depend on the timing of regulatory approval. In addition, a third-party holds an option to invest up to $400 million in the West of Devers Transmission project at the estimated in-service date in May 2021. The rate base in the table below is reduced to reflect this option.
Rate base for expected capital expenditures
|$||33.8 ||$||36.3 ||$||38.4 ||$||41.1 |
Rate base for expected capital expenditures (using range case described above)
|*||$||36.2 ||$||37.6 ||$||39.5 |
* Not applicable
For additional information, see "Liquidity and Capital Resources—SCE—Capital Investment Plan."
RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
SCE's results of operations are derived mainly through two sources:
•Earning activities – representing revenue authorized by the CPUC and the FERC which is intended to provide SCE a reasonable opportunity to recover its costs and earn a return on its net investment in generation, transmission and distribution assets. The annual revenue requirements are comprised of authorized operation and maintenance costs, depreciation, taxes and a return consistent with the capital structure. Also, included in earnings activities are revenue or penalties related to incentive mechanisms, other operating revenue and regulatory charges or disallowances.
•Cost-recovery activities – representing CPUC- and FERC-authorized balancing accounts which allow for recovery of specific project or program costs, subject to reasonableness review or compliance with upfront standards. Cost-recovery activities include rates which provide recovery, subject to reasonableness review of, among other things, fuel costs, purchased power costs, public purpose related-program costs (including energy efficiency and demand-side management programs) and certain operation and maintenance expenses. SCE earns no return on these activities.
Impact of 2018 GRC