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SDG&E proposal would lower summer rates but raise winter prices

Posted at 6:22 PM, Sep 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-24 21:22:37-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) -- San Diego Gas and Electric is asking state regulators for permission to rebalance electricity rates next year in a way that would lower bills for customers during the summer but keep annual costs about the same.

Currently, SDG&E customers pay a few cents more per kilowatt hour during the summer compared to winter rates. The seasonal pricing is designed to promote energy conservation in the summer when demand is highest, but it has also sparked complaints about high bills, particularly last year.

In response to the complaints, the utility is proposing flat rates year-round, said SDG&E communications manager Wes Jones.

"Simply put, we're trying to benefit our customers," Jones said. "We recognize they need a lot of power in the summertime to cool their homes."

The new year-round structure would lower bills during the summer but result in higher winter bills than customers currently pay.

Jones said reducing price volatility will help families budget for household energy expenses and mitigate summer sticker shock.

The proposal would apply to all residential customers, including Time-of-Use, non-Time-of-Use and electric vehicle pricing plans. If approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, the changes would take effect prior to next summer, Jones said.