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SPECIAL COVERAGE: Living With Wildfires: San Diego Firestorm 10 Years Later

Behind The Scenes In The CPUC Investigation Into San Onofre

The first phase of the CPUCs investigation looks at whether the expenses Southern California Edison is charging ratepayers for San Onofre are reasonable. In 2004 the CPUC authorized the company to spend $680 million on replacing steam generators. Edison said Friday it spent a total of $768 million.

The California Public Utilities Commission investigation into problems at San Onofre is continuing, but it is not on the agenda for this week’s PUC meeting in San Diego. However, legal battles are going on behind the scenes over how much ratepayers should be paying for the shuttered nuclear power plant.

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Expenditures for Installation San Onofre

Expenditures for Installation San Onofre

A report from Souther California Edison on the expenditures for installation of steam generators at San Onofre.

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However, the company also said, due to “a lag in the availability of escalation rates,” the final costs in 2004 dollars wont be available till the second quarter of 2014.

David Peffer, an attorney for the ratepayer advocacy group, UCAN, said the CPUC and Edison are using delaying tactics. The CPUC has not scheduled a discussion of whether ratepayers should be on the hook for the cost of the faulty steam generators until Phase Two of their investigation in 2014.

"Really the end game here is to draw out the resolution as long as possible," Peffer said, referring to SCE, "because as long as this proceeding is ongoing, the costs of San Onofre remain in their rate base, which is how they get their profits."

Peffer said ratepayers should stop being charged now, rather than deal with possible reimbursements later.

Edison declined to be interviewed, but said in a statement it will file an application seeking a review of project costs when the final costs are available.

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