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SDG&E Rejects Audit of Fire Insurance Purchases

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Aired 3/31/10

San Diego Gas & Electric says an audit of its fire insurance purchase process is unwarranted. Ratepayers' advocates had asked for the audit last month to better understand why the power company wants to raise customer rates to offset higher insurance premiums since the 2007 fires in San

— San Diego Gas & Electric says an audit of its fire insurance purchase process is unwarranted. Ratepayers' advocates had asked for the audit last month to better understand why the power company wants to raise customer rates to offset higher insurance premiums since the 2007 fires in San Diego County.

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SDG&E Rebuttal to CPUC Audit Request

The Division of Ratepayers at the California Public Utilities Commission says SDG&E did not turn over all the information needed to determine if a rate increase was warranted. It has asked SDG&E to do an internal audit so consumer representatives could scrutinize the reasonableness of the rate hike proposal. But the company says it did provide all documentation verifying its higher fire insurance costs. SDG&E called the audit request irrelevant and unnecessary.

Ed Moldavsky of the Division of Ratepayers says the issue is now one for regulators to decide.

"The PUC has broad investigatory powers," Moldavsky said. "So it is within the authority of the Public Utilities Commission to order such an audit."

The PUC will hold hearings next week on SDG&E's rate hike request. If approved, customer bills would go up between 20 and 70 cents a month.

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