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SDG&E expected to raise customers' rates in 2023

Posted at 5:52 PM, Oct 19, 2022

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Officials from San Diego Gas & Electric are beginning outreach early to prepare customers for an expected rate increase on Jan. 1, 2023.

“We really made a commitment last year to change how we talk to customers and educate customers on rates," SDG&E Senior Vice President Scott Crider told ABC 10News. "We want to make sure we’re more transparent, that we’re giving customers more time to really prepare for a potential change in rates and higher bills in January.”

SDG&E is proposing raising its delivery rate by $15, while also estimating that the cost of the energy itself for those who still get their energy directly from the company will rise an additional $13 (more than half of San Diego County now receives its energy from CCE organizations, while SDG&E continues to deliver it).

Customers that have natural gas appliances will also see increases for both delivery and procurement.

“We recognize that any increase for our customers is very difficult," Crider said.

Crider says the increased cost is due primarily to the rise in natural gas prices worldwide. In addition, the company has invested billions of dollars into infrastructure, helping prevent devastating wildfires and making San Diego's electrical grid more reliable and able to withstand high demand. As was seen during the summer heatwave when the county was able to avoid power outages despite record use.

Crider concedes that while SDG&E's rates are high, customers see tremendous value for their money.

The proposed rate hikes come while SDG&E and its parent company, Sempra, are seeing record profits.

InApril, ABC 10News reported that Sempra was paying its investors its highest-ever dividend. Crider sidestepped questions from ABC 10News about how much of the rate increase would go to company profits and why the company is raising rates while continuing to rake in money. Instead, Crider pointed to programs that can help customers afford bills or defer payments, while also arguing that SDG&E has helped secure some state funding to cover costs.

The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates investor-owned utilities will meet in December to vote on final approval for SDG&E's proposed rate increases.