SDG&E bills to rise as soon as Sept. 1

SAN DIEGO – Bills for San Diego Gas & Electric customers will rise as soon as Sept. 1 after the California Public Utilities Commission today authorized a $123.4 million rate increase for the company.

The CPUC said a typical electric customer’s bill could increase about 12.2 percent, or $9.95 per month, while households that receive natural gas would have to pay an extra 9.6 percent per month, or around $3.55.

The CPUC estimates are based on use of 500 kilowatt hours per month of electricity and 33 therms of gas per month. SDG&E said in a statement that because of the way the rates are being structured, customers who use more than 500 kilowatt hours per month will pay higher increases.

The rate hike was $116 million less than SDG&E requested, the agency reported. The utility will be allowed $1.73 billion in revenue annually through 2015.

”Because regulators delayed a decision for nearly a year and a half, SDG&E now is required to start collecting 20 months of additional revenue that should have been collected starting in 2012,” the company said in its statement. ”These ‘catch-up’ costs mean customers will see a larger bill impact than if the rates had been adjusted on schedule.”

SDG&E also said, ”Today’s decision by state regulators will allow us to continue to operate our natural gas and electricity systems safely and reliably and to increase system efficiencies and customer benefits through technology enhancements.”

Increases were also authorized for the Southern California Gas Company, which, like SDG&E, is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy.

A statement from the regulating agency said the increases will allow the utilities to maintain, replace, and improve aging infrastructure, and to operate their systems in a safe and reliable manner.

”Safety and reliability do not come free,” said Commissioner Mark Ferron. ”While we must do our best to contain costs, we do have to spend some more on safety and reliability.”

The utilities will be required to invest $170.5 million in gas transmission and distribution integrity management systems, according to the CPUC. The agency recently recommended a record $2.25 billion fine for a natural gas explosion in 2010 in San Bruno, near San Francisco. Eight people died as a result of that explosion.

The CPUC said that if the utilities don’t need to spend all $170.5 million, the savings will be returned to customers.

The commissioners established financial incentives to SDG&E to exceed target levels for electric reliability and monetary punishment if the utility falls short of the goals. They also voted to reduce authorized pension contributions by more than $15 million for SDG&E and by more than $32 million for SoCalGas.

County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, a bitter foe of the utility, also issued a statement, in which she said she was ”disappointed that state regulators put the needs of the utility above the consumer.”

”The bigger bills will not only hurt ratepayers, but are a reminder of SDG&E’s stranglehold on the local energy market,” Jacob said. ”Consumers need more choices on where and how they get their energy so they’re not at the mercy of the utility giant every time it wants to boost its bottom line.”

20 Responses to "SDG&E bills to rise as soon as Sept. 1"

  1. CPUC = Continually Pushing Up Costs   May 9, 2013 at 10:34 pm

    This is just the beginning folks. You can expect large rate increases every year from now on. It’s all part of the plan. With them shutting down San Onofre and charging for CO2, expect the CPUC to pass all those costs on to us consumers.

  2. SDG&E=SHAME and GREED!   May 10, 2013 at 5:39 am

    This is pathetic and just makes me sick!

  3. another rip off   May 10, 2013 at 7:10 am

    We already pay too much for trash service, rising water bills, and now higher electric and gas bills. We use less and they just increase the price to keep revenues up.

  4. Preston   May 10, 2013 at 7:32 am

    LED lighting has recently become more affordable and is a mere fraction of the cost and much easier to install than a Solar System. As it becomes more popular the price will come down. Start by replacing the lighting you use most often and you will see a reduction in your bill. The only way I know to beat SDG&E is to use less of their power.

  5. wtf   May 10, 2013 at 7:43 am

    Why do they keep raising the rates every other month? I thought they had a limit as to how many times they could increase rates in any given year. I got an automated call the other day from SDG&E saying they needed to schedule an appt. with me to install a new "smart" meter. Yeah right, it’s just another dumb meter to increase the already high rates. What a joke.

  6. grunt   May 10, 2013 at 7:53 am

    We reduce power use, we get solar, so to make sure the bottom line stays, they raise rates. The power/water companies will ensure they get the same amount of money each month no matter how little of thier service we use.

  7. Time for Solar!!!!   May 10, 2013 at 8:49 am

    We are off the grid…..water & electricity! If interested,I have the contacts for the best solar package out there!!!

  8. time for change!   May 10, 2013 at 8:58 am

    "The bigger bills will not only hurt ratepayers, but are a reminder of SDG&E’s stranglehold on the local energy market," Jacob said. "Consumers need more choices on where and how they get their energy so they’re not at the mercy of the utility giant every time it wants to boost its bottom line."

  9. Carla   May 10, 2013 at 9:40 am

    Large utilities should be nationalized!

  10. funny statement   May 10, 2013 at 10:06 am

    "The CPUC said that if the utilities don’t need to spend all $170.5 million, the savings will be returned to customers." What a joke, they will definitely find a way to blow this budget out of the water and pass the expense to us…never ending…

  11. FR86   May 10, 2013 at 10:33 am

    Between SDGE, CPUC and FPUD it’s going to be too expensive to live in Fallbrook for the working stiff…………

    I’ll cut down my avocado trees to save water, turn the appliances off and turn out the lights and see if I have enough money to buy gas to go to work…..wait I need to ask my boss for a raise since I haven’t had one since 2008 which is when SDGE tried to burn down the county then tried to increase rates to make us pay for their bad engineering.

    They win again.

  12. Fallbrook Blues   May 10, 2013 at 1:29 pm

    I see this problem as SDG&E having a monopoly. I remember way back when Pacific Bell was the one and only landline home phone provider here. Now there are choices.

    Not everyone (especially if you rent) can go the solar route. Wish the CPUC would allow more than one electricity provider.

  13. Pink   May 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    I agree with Fallbrook Blues, and while I absolutely disagree with Carla about Nationalization (as bad as it is now, just imagine how much the government would screw it up) I also do not believe in monopolies. In free enterprise there should always be a choice. SDG&E is using the debacle at San Onofre to raise their rates. I said it would happen, and it did.

  14. One way or another   May 10, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    The PUC refused SDGEs request to charge us for the Rice Fire settlements supposedly. This rate increase is Rice Fire costs in disguise. Dirty PUC dirty SDGE.

  15. Preston   May 11, 2013 at 8:15 am

    One thing I have always noticed is that people that complain the most are often the biggest abusers of what they complain about. I have neighbors that go on about their $400 + electric bill but notice they have every light in the house on and tons of outside lighting burning all night. My home is similar in size to theirs, has way more lighting but my average bill is $114.
    I just spent the last two weeks converting all the outside motion sensor 150 watt halogen security lighting to 15 watt LED and now working on replacing the most often used inside lights to LED. I’m hoping to cut m bill in half so I can give SDG&E the second Phalanges every month.

  16. Preston   May 11, 2013 at 8:47 am

    My total cost to convert to LED — $1500. I will never have to change a bulb again and have better light from the outdoor 15 watt LED than the 150 watt halogens and most importantly my wife can’t tell the difference between the 17 watt (dimmable) soft white BR40’s vs the 100-120 watt BR40’s that go in the 6" cans.

  17. Lee   May 11, 2013 at 9:16 am

    Welcome to deregulation, folks, welcome to deregulation.

  18. Fallbrook Blues   May 11, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    @Preston- The complaint I have is not the bill itself, it’s the fact that you cannot get a different electric provider. It’s SDG&E or sit in the dark. I don’t even use 500KwH a month in my apartment so my bill shouldn’t go up much.

    As for the changing of the bulbs to LED. I fully agree, My bill went down about $20.00 when I swapped out each and every regular bulb and put in LED.

  19. JM   May 11, 2013 at 2:54 pm

    So does everyone here know about the company ENRON? If you dont, they pulled off the greatest fraud in american history, literally sucking California dry and raising Californians energy prices ten-fold. Here is how they did it.

    Enron spent years before ever commiting fraud studying all the of loopholes in the DEREGULATED market of energy
    First was to create a false energy demand allowing Enron to sell electricity at a premium, known as the 2001 California Energy Crisis

    Step1. Enron calls various major power plant and requests that it shuts down, ordering the plant to inform the public that is for "maintenance repairs". Power then was resorted to hydro which would be sold at a premium and also resorting to natural gas which is the most ineffecient and exensive power producer

    Step 2. Power outages, and a major blackout. Enron would send more power down the lines then nearby stations had requested, causing a sort of phantom congestion. Enron then profited off the excess power and also charged a tax to have California send the excess power back. Faulty equipment started failing under these loads as well as poor distribution of consistent energy, as well as having to pay a premium to quickly replace the equipment.

    Overall there was no energy crisis, infact California had been using less electricity that year then the two years before.

    Doesn’t this sound too familiar, Do some research, look up all the recent power outages and most of them are still "under investigation", or look up BC hydro and NRG and there recent bookkeeping and price raises.

    Sure these companies are not on the scale that ENRON was but they all know that Shutdown power plant + power outages= Higher prices and as explained through ENRON every aspect of energy from how its produced to how its maintained will benefit from it. Of course these major corporation aren’t going to even attempt to lower prices, but dont blame them, its every businesspersons job to recognize that higher demand=premium prices. Its our job as the consumers to control their energy market unless they WILL take advantage of it.

  20. Preston   May 12, 2013 at 8:02 am

    @Fallbrook Blues
    Once you get your bill down by changing to efficient appliances and lighting then you only need a few Solar Panels and you no longer have to be concerned with the SDG&E monopoly. The Solar Companies don’t want to talk to you unless your bill is over $150 because they want to sell you a system and finance it getting you to believe its a good deal because the payment is less than your electric bill. The solution is to cut them out too — There is not much to the system (panels on a framework) so you just need to install yourself and get a good electrician to do the final hook up. All the information you need to determine the size system you need and to do the install is on the web.


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