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SDG&E Rate Hike Goes Into Effect In September

Evening Edition

Aired 7/8/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.


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 1.

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.

But despite an increasing use of renewable energy sources like wind and solar and changes in the way households receive energy, the way energy rates are calculated has stayed the same.

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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Avatar for user 'DonWood'

DonWood | July 8, 2013 at 12:01 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

Too bad that KPBS didn't include a ratepayer representative in this discussion. 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.

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Avatar for user 'philosopher3000'

philosopher3000 | July 9, 2013 at 9:35 a.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

What puff. Ask some hard questions, KPBS.

"many people are being charged 31-cents / kWh in the middle of the night, when the cost of producing that energy is only 5-cents" - Lee Friedman
Electric Car problem - inexpensive nighttime energy will allow us to charge our cars at night cheaply, but that is not currently the case.

Lee doesn't mention that only big energy wasters are chared 31-cents for their huge energy consumption. While those who use energy efficienctly are rewarded for their intelligent low consumption.

You don't need to get rid of our PROGRESSIVE Tier based system, which JUSTLY charges big energy users more for waste, to also have a time of use system. Low income (poor) people (i.e. rate payers) deserve their base allowance of energy at cost, because this is their planet, and the resources are theirs by right of birth, not based upon their wealth or income.

You see, to survive in our information based economy, every citizen needs a littlle electricity, Intelligent people and those with little money tend to use less energy. Because those people are disproportionaltely people of color, then to deny people enegy based upon their ability to earn is not just wrong, it is racist genocide.

The only reason SDG&E want's to go to 'Time-of-Use' pricing is so that they can maximize profits for their Investor Owned Energy Monopoly. If they TRULY wanted to reduce peak usage for environmental reasons, they would be encouraging SOLAR-Photovoltiac on every roof. Because the SUN produces energy during PEAK USAGE hours!

Hypocrites, lyers, scoundrals. That's why their 'dumb-meters' only read energy use in one direction!

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Avatar for user 'mshames'

mshames | July 12, 2013 at 12:46 p.m. ― 3 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, Don is correct. If they'd asked me, I'd have told them that they got all of the numbers wrong --- which they did because KPBS didn't factor in changes in the way that rates are going to be charged. Plus, the data that SDG&E supplied was wrong.

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