San Diegans' electric bills to go up 1 percent

Posted at 5:23 PM, Jun 23, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-23 20:23:41-04

Electric bills in San Diego and Orange counties will rise about 1 percent after the California Public Utilities Commission Thursday approved a rate structure for San Diego Gas & Electric for 2016-18.

The commission approved a modified settlement between SDG&E, the Southern California Gas Co., the Office of Ratepayer Advocates and other parties.

The agreement authorizes 2016 revenue of $1.79 billion for SDG&E's combined operations -- $1.48 billion for its electric operations and $309 million for gas, according to the CPUC. The agency said the combined figure is $104 million lower than what SDG&E had requested.

"Compared to current rates, we estimate that for residential customers the average SDG&E electric bill will increase by about 1 percent, the average SDG&E gas bill remains about the same, and the average SoCalGas bill will increase by about 3 percent," said CPUC President Michael Picker, the commissioner assigned to the proceeding.

SDG&E and SoCalGas are both owned by San Diego-based Sempra Energy.

Also as part of the agreement, the CPUC said that SDG&E is prohibited from compensating its employees, managers, and executives for recovering money from consumers for 2007 wildfire-related costs that are being litigated before the agency.

The deal also provides funding to allow SDG&E to trim vegetation near overhead electric lines, and to replace many of its wooden poles with steel poles, in order to lower wildfire danger.