August 29, 2005

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Aug. 29, 2005—The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has authorized Southern California Edison (SCE) to move back the beginning eligibility date for reimbursing customers who removed dead or dying bark beetle-infested trees that threatened SCE’s overhead electrical facilities.

The authorization makes eligible for reimbursement property owners who removed infected trees on their property that could have fallen into SCE’s overhead electrical facilities since March 12, 2002.   The beginning date for customers to request reimbursement for removing trees threatening the utility’s electrical equipment had been April 3, 2003, which is when the CPUC ordered SCE to take all reasonable steps to identify and remove infested trees threatening its overhead electrical equipment.

“We’re pleased that residents who, early on, took it upon themselves to act to protect their property and the community now are eligible for reimbursement,” said Don Johnson, project manager for SCE’s bark beetle program.  “Our goal is to process their new reimbursement requests within 90 days of receipt of a completed request for reimbursement form and documentation.”

The following guidelines must be complied with when submitting an application for tree removal reimbursement: 

  • Copies of invoice(s) with payment terms must accompany the Request for Reimbursement form.  For residents who no longer have a copy of their invoice and cannot obtain one from their contractor, photocopies of the front and back of the cancelled check used to pay the contractor who removed eligible trees.
  • The reimbursement request and all other pertinent documentation must be sent to the SCE Bark Beetle Office, P.O. Box 9090, Redlands CA 92373.
  • Residents with multiple addresses where trees threatening SCE overhead electrical facilities were removed must submit a separate reimbursement request for each address.
  • Residents must include their current mailing address and contact phone number on all requests for reimbursement.

A bark beetle reimbursement request form and guidelines can be obtained at Click on “Tree Trimming & Removal,” then “Reimbursement Forms,” or you can call 1-800-640-3652 for a form.

“We want to stress that reimbursements will be entirely dependent on documentation,” said Johnson.  “Pursuant to CPUC regulations, we will not be able to process a reimbursement request without the required documentation.”

Using Phillips & Jordan as its primary contractor, SCE has spent approximately $130 million to remove more than 113,000 dead or dying trees in Riverside, San Bernardino, and Los Angeles counties.  SCE also has reimbursed residents $30 million for removing another 47,000 trees that could have fallen into the utility’s overhead electrical facilities.

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An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.6 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.