Tuesday, July 9, 2013

SDG&E Raisng Rates, Lobbying CPUc for "Time-of-Use" Billing

This video with SDG&E Vice President, Lee Schavrien
SDG&E Rate Hike - Listen to the audio interview from KPBS Midday Edition: http://www.kpbs.org/news/2013/jul/08/sdge-rate-hike-goes-effect-september/
If you have $100 bill you will see about a $15 rate increase. If you have a $250 electricity bill, you will see about $75 rate increase. The current rate hike will effect only 25% of residential customers that are in tier-3 and above. It is not because of San Onofere Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), that will be determined by a seperiate California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) hearing, now underway. 
AB 327 - "Time of use" rates (a.k.a. 'time varying rates') - is going to eliminate our progressive tier rate system.  Frees the CPUC to move to utility time of use rates.

"We want to charge rate payers what it costs to provide electricity service to them, no more, no less." - Lee Schavrien, SDG&E VP 

JEA, a Florida non-profit that ranks utilities, finds SDG&E is 3rd highest rates in the USA.
Schavrien claims that 'the less energy you use the more you are charged (per unit energy)" - because our climate is temperate we use less energy than others, so our rates are higher, because we have the same transmission costs. However, he doesn't say anything about how SDG&E a privately owned SEMPRA Energy subsidary, makes tragic business mistakes, like burning down East County San Diego, or risking radioative contamination via San Onofere Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), then passes on the expenses from those mistakes to their rate payers. (I will not even go into the ENRON scandal and brownouts).
SDG&E and PG&E are sponsoring AB 327, a bill that would allow the CPUC to dump rate increases like this on low-income and low usage electric customers instead of applying them to the customers who use far more energy than average. It will be interesting to see if SDG&E uses this program to promote their proposed legislation with a ratepayer paid representative. Utility customer who use electricity more efficiently should be rewarded by lower rates. AB 327 would penalize energy misers and reward energy hogs. It would turn existing rate design on its head. The utilities know that their big capital projects hit ratepayers when their costs are rolled into rates, but they don't want them to hit wealthy heavy electricity users because those customers may just install rooftop solar systems.
SDG&E To Raise Rates On Some In September: http://youtu.be/-eDQdtqiHOA
(note: this does NOT include cost of San Onofere Nuclear Generating Station)
Lee Schavrien, Senior Vice President, San Diego Gas and Electric
Lee Friedman, Economist, Professor of Public Policy UC Berkeley
It may cost you more to turn on the lights starting September 1st. San Diego Gas and Electric is raising rates for some households and most businesses. High energy users, or about 25 percent of SDG&E customers will see some increase on their bills. The rate hike was approved by the Public Utilities Commission earlier this year. The utility says the rate hike is needed to help pay for energy from renewable sources which is more expensive than electricity produced from natural gas. California's greenhouse gas reduction goals call for 33 percent of energy to come from renewable sources by 2020. A new report by nonpartisan organization Next 10 finds that rate reform is needed in order to meet California's greenhouse gas reduction goals.

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