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SDG&E customers concerned over rising costs

Posted at 5:35 PM, Feb 16, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-16 20:41:18-05

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - A growing number of San Diego Gas & Electric customers are raising concerns about their skyrocketing bills.

Jim Wolff has been an SDG&E customer of eight years who said he's seeing his bill increase, yet his usage hasn't changed.

"If it had been a little more transparent. That said, by the way, if your usage is so much now. It's going to go up 25, 30%," he said. "Not because you are using more but because of these additional costs."

Those additional costs are part of the reason why SDG&E rates have gone up roughly 7.8%. Other factors include the cost of gas up 38% nationwide, making it 25% more costly for SDG&E.

The company also points out how the bill is broken up:

  • 47% of what a person pays goes to how they get their energy. 31% goes to distribution, while the other 16% goes to transmission. That's where SDG&E makes a profit.
  • 46% goes directly towards making sure a person gets their electricity.
  • The other 7% is for public benefit programs.

"There is no one single solution, no one biggest factor," UCAN Executive Director Edward Lopez said.

Lopez furthered customers in San Diego will be hit harder, as natural gas in California is not only used directly but is used to generate electricity. That is because the state has a requirement of reliability, to make sure that there is always an energy source available all of the time.

Utility Consumer's Action Network, the nonprofit working to protect consumers, believes rates will only continue to increase. While the nonprofit believes the CPUC understands the concern, some local leaders want more.

"I feel like this price spike happened out of the blue, that it is excessive, and I think there needs to be some answers," Assemblymember Brian Maienschein said.

Maienschein tweeted Wednesday to the CPUC asked specific questions he wanted answered regarding the high energy costs.

The answers may come next week when the CPUC hosts a workshop aimed at understanding how they can improve affordability in our state's energy system.

"It's incumbent upon the CPUC to really ask harder and tougher questions as to whether certain costs are reasonable, are they justifiable?" Lopez said.

Transparency, all customers want.

"What's the end line for us? It's just a matter of be honest with us and tell us what to expect and not give us these surprises," Wolff said.

Lopez emphasizes that the cpuc workshops do allow for public comment, however no actions will be taken.