SoCal Edison urges regulator to adjust ROE, citing higher wildfire risk

(Reuters) - Southern California Edison utility said on Thursday it requested a federal agency to adjust the extraordinary wildfire risk for the portion regulated by it in the company’s authorized return on equity (ROE).

The company requested here the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for an ROE of 17.12 percent, including incentives and investments in new technologies and clean energy projects.

Southern California’s authorized ROE was at 10.3 percent in 2018, according to its annual filing.

“This is what is needed in the near term in order to attract the capital required to provide safe, reliable electricity,” said Caroline Choi, senior vice president of Corporate Affairs for SCE and its parent company, Edison International.

However, the company said it did not believe a higher return on equity is a long-term solution.

Earlier in March, investigators found that the devastating Thomas Fire in northwest of Los Angeles was sparked by power lines owned by Southern California Edison Co.

Shares of the utility were trading down 3.2 percent at $21.61 in low volumes in morning trade.

Reporting by Shradha Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber