Blackout could cost ratepayers

“Blackout could cost utilities” says the headline from The Californian, 9/15/11, D1. The articles talks about how likely it will be that SDG&E or another agency will be fined for the blackout that caused San Diego to be without power for about twelve hours.

Here’s my question: Where are the funds for this fine going to come from? Are they going to end up coming from the ratepayers themselves? If so, we’d in essence be fining ourselves instead of putting the money to good use improving the infrastructure.

I realize there are probably insurance accounts for this and other sources, but ultimately don’t these companies get their money from their customers. So, when they have to replenish these account, or their insurance premiums go up, who pays?

What is the point of the state or federal government fining those who suffered through the blackout? As one who lives in Riverside County, this didn’t so much impact me other than giving me more work that night and the next morning making sure things were working as well as possible.