Pacific Gas & Electric will make an initial contribution of $4.8 billion to California’s new wildfire fund, the company said July 25.

The fund, created under the umbrella of the AB 1054 legislation, will help cover the costs of future wildfire-related liability claims. It will be supported by contributions from utilities as well as a possible nonbypassable charge collected from ratepayers (see story at [8]).

PG&E intends to follow up its initial contribution with annual payments of $193 million. However, both the initial and ongoing commitments depend on the outcome of its ongoing bankruptcy proceeding, and will be payable only after the company emerges from bankruptcy. As per AB 1054, PG&E will not be able to access the fund if it does not exit bankruptcy by June 2020.

“California’s ever-growing risk of wildfire is a reality we must face squarely, and a matter of deep concern to all of us who call this place home. We appreciate Governor Newsom’s leadership in addressing this complex issue, with the recognition that there is more that needs to be done,” PG&E Corp. President and CEO Bill Johnson said in a written statement.

Separately, PG&E delayed its second-quarter earnings report, which was initially scheduled to be released on July 26. It will now be issued “on or before Aug. 9,” according to a PG&E press release.

PG&E is changing the timing of its earnings disclosure due to “multiple efforts that are in flight” in its bankruptcy proceeding, according to company spokesman Andy Castagnola. He added in an email that no exact date has been determined.

Kavya Balaraman covers the California Public Utilities Commission and PG&E Corp. for California Energy Markets. She has reported on climate policy and science in Washington, D.C. and graduated from Columbia University's Graduate of Journalism.