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San Diego Gas & Electric to pay $57M over botched bulb program

Posted at 7:23 PM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 22:23:45-04

SAN DIEGO (AP) — San Diego Gas & Electric will refund $51.6 million to ratepayers and pay a $5.5 million fine over a botched program to encourage people to buy energy-efficient lightbulbs.

The San Diego Union-Tribune says the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved an agreement that SDG&E reached nearly a year ago with two consumer organizations.

At issue was a utility program to get customers to buy energy-efficient lightbulbs by providing incentives for manufacturers and stores to provide them.

An investigative report commissioned by the PUC concluded in 2019 that 15 million of the subsidized bulbs had gone missing at a cost to utility ratepayers of about $55 million, and that the total number of bulbs shipped in 2017 under the programs was three times the number of bulbs sold in the state.

Investigators found that SDG&E couldn’t account for millions of bulbs, some of which were overstocked, never sold or never delivered.

SDG&E discontinued the program last year.