Public forum on San Diego Gas & Electric rate increase proposal to be held in Chula Vista

Posted at 7:52 AM, Jun 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-28 10:52:50-04

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) - Residents in the South Bay will have a chance Thursday to weigh in on San Diego Gas & Electric’s proposal to raise customers’ rates.

The utility has said the rate increase of nearly 30 percent by 2022 is to help upgrade infrastructure that is more than 50 years old. SDG&E is looking to replace wooden utility poles with metal over fire safety concerns.

Additionally, SDG&E said additional money is necessary if customers want reliable energy.

“For us, it’s about delivering clean, safe, reliable energy to our customers. And to be able to do that, we need to modernize and upgrade infrastructure,” an SDG&E official told 10News.

RELATED: San Diego Gas and Electric requests 28 percent rate hike

If approved, customers would see a rate increase of about 11 percent in 2019. That would cost the average San Diego customer an extra $13.99 per month, the utility estimated.

In 2020, there would be an increase of 6.9 percent; 5.1 percent in 2021; and 4.9 percent in 2022.

Last year, SDG&E asked the California Public Utilities Commission to allow them to pass on the multi-billion-dollar cost of the 2007 Witch Fire -- which was determined to have been sparked by company power lines -- to ratepayers.

The CPUC denied SDG&E’s request.

Now, many believe SDG&E’s latest proposal is about getting that money.

RELATED: SDG&E offers new Time of Use energy pricing options

“I don’t usually come out and protest, but this is going into my pocket. They’re going to blindside me,” said Henry Hold, who opposes the rate hike.

On Thursday, there will be two opportunities in Chula Vista for the public to hear SDG&E’s proposal and offer their opinion on the matter.

A 1 p.m. presentation will be followed by a public forum at 2 p.m. Then, at 6 p.m., another presentation will take place, with a public forum to follow at 7 p.m.

The sessions will take place in the Council Chamber at Chula Vista City Hall at 276 4th Avenue.