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SDG&E Warns of Higher Electric Bills After San Onofre Closure

The company sends an email to customers announcing rate hikes.

Jessie J. Knight, Jr. By: SDG&E
Jessie J. Knight, Jr. By: SDG&E

The following is a June letter to customers from San Diego Gas and Electric President Jessie J. Knight Jr. warning of electricity rate hikes in the wake of the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. 

The closure stemmed from a radioactive steam leak which subsequently revealed pervasive engineering problems throughout newly installed components at the plant. 

The resulting engineering assessment, political furor and bureaucratic mire led Southern California Edison to cut its losses and shutter the plant permanently. SDG&E owns 20 percent of the plant, and routed power from it all over its service area.

This is the text of Knight's letter:

I am writing you today to share information regarding some of the region’s energy challenges, some important changes in the coming months, and some help in reducing the effect on your household.

While the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station has created an untimely reduction in our region’s energy resources, we have taken steps to ensure a reliable supply of energy for the region. At the same time, we have revitalized our network with smart technology that will allow you to more efficiently control your energy use - especially during peak demand times. We have been increasing the supply of clean, renewable energy like solar and wind. And, we have made the ongoing delivery of energy more efficient through modernization and upgrades.

These are important investments to assure a continued high level of energy service for the future, but they do come with added expense. In addition, the cost of producing and delivering the renewable energy we all desire is more expensive than traditional sources. I am letting you know that as a result, about a quarter of our customers will see a noticeable increase in their bills in September.

What can you expect? Based on your historical energy use, you are likely to be affected by this increase. If your bill is typically around $100 a month, you will see an increase of about $15. If your bill is usually about $250 a month, you will see an increase of around $75.

We understand that increased costs can cause belt-tightening in any household. So you would be right in asking what we are doing to lower costs and operate as efficiently as possible on behalf of customers. Here are a few of the steps we have taken:

  • Switched out 90% of our passenger fleet vehicles to high-mileage or clean-energy vehicles
  • Installed smart switches on our electric system to help with service reliability
  • Saved over $2 million annually on paper and postage with online services
  • Cut our own energy and water consumption by over 20 percent
  • Substantially increased our ability to import lower-cost power into the region

We have set up a special website to provide more details on this upcoming change. I invite you to visit this site at www.sdge.com/2013Rates and if you have further questions, please call us toll-free at 855-846-7174.

Our goal is to help all of our customers find ways to manage energy costs with efficiency programs, rebates and new energy management tools. In the coming weeks we will be communicating with you again, providing what I hope will be helpful information to meet your energy needs in the most efficient and cost-effective way possible.

Thank you.

Sincerely, 

Jessie J. Knight Jr. 
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer 
CaptD July 06, 2013 at 08:21 PM
I've sent out the The $742 Million Question, http://decommission.sanonofre.com/2013/06/the-742-million-question.html Now the next phase of eliminating San Onofre begins, which is to hold SCE's feet to the fire and urge the CPUC to not only put San Onofre's decommissioning out for bid but to start issuing rebates for SCE's replacement steam generator debacle now, to offset their new energy increases.
CaptD July 06, 2013 at 08:21 PM
San Onofre Decommissioning Update: Notice in this notice, what this Utility, SDG&E is not talking about: Cutting its shareholder profits since it had a role in the San Onofre Debacle which will cause our electric rates to be increased in the near future, which will surely result in additional Utility profits! Making it easier for more of us to install Solar (of all flavors) which would help keep southern California cleaner and greener by starting to pay us the same amount that the Utility pays itself for generating Energy at the time it is added to the grid. Urging the CPUC to double its financial qualification limitations for energy retrofits and start spending all the millions of dollars that have already been collected and are now just sitting in an account earning interest! Urging the CPUC to limit its administration costs of the energy retrofit programs to only 15% of new retrofits installed instead of the huge overhead they have been paying no matter how little really gets installed, we cannot afford another energy fiefdom! Begin issuing rebates immediately for the over HALF A BILLION DOLLARS ratepayers paid for bad replacement steam generators to offset the increases in Energy. Putting the San Onofre Decommissioning out to bid, so ratepayers don't get ripped off ever again. Provide rate reductions to all customers as a way to make up for their San Onofre Debacle. What we are getting, is the loud and clear message, that everything is going to be business as usual, the Utility (and their shareholders) expect to make a profit from this nuclear hiccup, despite the financial hardship upon ratepayers! Southern California's economy should not be held hostage by the very public Utilities that have already placed us at risk by causing our energy problems to begin with!
CaptD July 06, 2013 at 08:25 PM
More great info here: Study: CPUC and Edison collaborated to scam ratepayers SDG&E consumers got fleeced, too, over San Onofre costs http://www.sandiegoreader.com/weblogs/news-ticker/2013/jul/05/study-cpuc-and-edison-collaborated-to-scam-ratepay/#c149821
CaptD July 06, 2013 at 08:37 PM
SDG&E has stayed out of the San Onofre Debacle Limelight allowing SCE to get egg all over its face for their replacement steam generator design debacle that led to shutting down San Onofre. Now SDG&E is trying to position themselves to avoid as much ratepayer anger as possible, yet the truth is that they and their shareholders have made huge profits over the last few years all at ratepayers expense, so now it is their turn to rebate their portion of what ratepayers have already paid them for energy never collected... NOTE: Ratepayers in SoCal are still paying about $70 million a month for San Onofre and will continue to do so until the CPUC orders the Utilities to issue refunds... Since San Onofre started leaking on 01/31/12, we have paid to date that $70 Million for about 17 months which equals about 1.2 BILLION Dollars, which has nothing to do with all the other monies that we are still owed! To bad Mr. Knight did not step up and tell ratepayers that SDG&E made a huge mistake and will start issuing its customers credit on their next bill, instead of trying to explain away yet another rate increase with his Energy JIVE.
Jeanna Myers July 07, 2013 at 04:39 PM
You have a choice..we just opened the California market http://jeanna.joinambit.com

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