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Woman whose power was cut gets high usage estimate from SDG&E

Posted at 5:45 PM, Nov 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-06 21:16:07-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — A Descanso woman whose power was cut during last week's Red Flag warning was surprised to receive a utility estimate showing an increase in power use.

Cheryl Erpelding's power was taken away for parts of both Oct. 30 and Oct. 31, when SDG&E was trying to prevent a wildfire from igniting and spreading. Still, she got an estimate from SDG&E showing that she used the most power during the parts of those two days when the power was on.

"If you're going to email me how much I'm using, why don't you email me a better guess," Erpelding said.

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Erpelding's weekly estimate showed she used 31 kilowatt hours on Oct. 31, and 26 kilowatt hours on Oct. 30. On other days of the week, her usage ranged from 16 to 24 kilowatt hours.

SDG&E says the reason for this is Erpelding is a solar customer. The estimate she received reflects her net usage, which usually reflects credit for her putting power back into the grid. That reduces her net usage significantly.

During the public safety power shutoffs, she did not put power back into the grid, but still used power during parts of the day it was on.

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Therefore, her overall usage appears higher than on a normal day, even though, looking at her gross usage, it was not.