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Electricity Ratepayers Could See Millions In Refunds For San Onofre

Evening Edition

Aired 11/21/13 on KPBS Midday Edition.

GUESTS

Martha Sullivan, Organizer with the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre

Truman Burns, spokesperson with the California Public Utilities Commission Division of Ratepayer Advocates

Alison St John, KPBS North County Bureau Chief

Regulators are in the early stages of figuring out how much power companies can reasonably charge ratepayers for the fiasco that led to the shut down of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations.

Aired 11/20/13 on KPBS News.

The power companies that operate the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant must refund ratepayers $95 million, under a proposal released this week.

Document

SCE to Contest State Regulator’s Proposed Decision on San Onofre Nuclear Plant

SCE to Contest State Regulator’s Proposed Decision on San Onofre Nuclear Plant

Southern California Edison (SCE) is disappointed in portions ...

Two administrative law judges with the California Public Utilities Commission propose Southern California Edison and SDG&E refund $94 million to customers.

That would be for costs incurred while the plant was shut down in 2012, and the company was exploring whether it would be feasible to restart it.

SDG&E said it is reviewing the proposal, and will submit papers to the PUC, which will make the decision on the refund next month.

$94 million sounds like a lot of money. But John Geesman, attorney for the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility, said it’s not enough.

“Ratepayers are still paying more than $80 million dollars a month for a plant that’s been abandoned,“ Geesman said, “and for the PUC to propose refunding only $94 million right now falls pretty short. “

Geesman said Southern California Edison and SDG&E have set aside more than half a billion dollars to cover what they may be required to refund customers.

Majority owner, Southern California Edison, said in a statement that it is disappointed in the proposed decision. The company disputed the finding that it should have known by May 7th of 2012 that the problems with the new steam generators were serious enough to make it unlikely the plant would ever return to normal operation.

Possible refunds for 2013 costs are still to be adjudicated in phase three of the PUC's investigation.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Mmikey'

Mmikey | November 21, 2013 at 7:41 a.m. ― 9 months ago

what will it really amount to ( if its not all b.s.) about $3 per rate payer?

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | November 22, 2013 at 10:22 a.m. ― 9 months ago

Posted here:
http://www.sandiegoreader.com/news/2013/nov/20/ticker-sdge-refund-customers-over-san-onofre/?c=163219#ixzz2lJaMvT5P

What a loss to all ratepayers in San Diego, that UCAN internal problems has left everyone with a voice against SDG&E and SCE for the billions all ratepayers are now owed thanks to SCE's replacement steam generator debacle, and to add to that SoCal ratepayers are STILL paying way over $50 Million per month for San Onofre even though it is not generating any energy!

What is the CPUC doing, they are dividing up everything into tiny pieces which they will then decide what to do, in each bit of the investigation!

**I cry FOUL at the 20% finding by the CPUC** because it lets SCE (and SDG&E) off the hook for almost all of their design debacle, which not only resulted in the $740 Million replacement steam generator LOSS but all the new equipment that went along with it like new turbines (a total of which is well over a BILLION dollars).

and

Then there is the additional costs that are going to be DUE for the early closure of San Onofre which is going to leave at least a BILLION dollars due for the decommissioning fund that were never collected because San Onofre was shutdown early.

The CPUC should immediately make SCE and SDG&E start issuing refunds because it is irresponsible to allow the Utility to keep collecting money for San Onofre when its destruction was due to the Utility itself.

Also as a penalty, the CPUC should make SCE and SDG&E fund large additional solar incentives so that everyone in SoCal that wants to, can install their own solar rooftop panels to replace San Onofre's energy capacity!

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | November 22, 2013 at 3:14 p.m. ― 9 months ago

More here on decommissioning costs:
GAO Report Finds Inadequacy, Inaccuracy in NRC Oversight of Funds to Decommission Nuclear Power Plants
http://votesmart.org/public-statement/691789/gao-report-finds-inadequacy-inaccuracy-in-nrc-oversight-of-funds-to-decommission-nuclear-power-plants#.Uo43rGTEpJX

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | November 23, 2013 at 7:55 a.m. ― 9 months ago

Important NOTE: The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre (CDSO) ... is fighting for BOTH San Diego and OC ratepayers

MEDIA ADVISORY FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NOVEMBER 21, 2013 COALITION TO DECOMMISSION SAN ONOFRE Media Contact: Martha Sullivan, marthasullivan@mac.com, 858/945-6273

Proposed Decision in CPUC Investigation of San Onofre Outage Has Good News and Bad News for Ratepayers

(San Diego) Agreeing with the position taken by the Coalition to Decommission San Onofre (CDSO) and other public interest advocates in the California Public Utilities Commission's (CPUC) investigation into the San Onofre outage of 2012-2013, the assigned Administrative Law Judges (ALJ) have published a Proposed Decision in Phase 1 of the investigation, dealing with 2012 expenditures during the outage: However, we find [Southern California Edison] SCE to be single-minded about its restart plan, and slow to understand the technical challenges and regulatory timeframe required to implement it. SCE’s decision to apply resources to a restart plan was the result of an unsound decision-making process, primarily because SCE did not consider cost effectiveness or alternatives such as putting Unit 2 into preservation mode, or realistically assess the regulatory hurdles blocking a reasonably foreseeable restart.

The ALJ's Proposed Decision calls for the first refund to the ratepayers of SCE and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) due to the unplanned outage of the twin nuclear reactors at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, of $94 Million. This preliminary refund reflects only the over-collection of funds from ratepayers in 2012 that were previously authorized by the CPUC for normal operations associated with generating electricity. While CDSO welcomes the ALJs' embrace of its position that SCE made unsound decisions at the expense of its own and SDG&E ratepayers, we consider the amount of this refund to be overly conservative, and will argue so in Comments on the Proposed Decision due by December 9, 2013. The 5 Commissioners may vote on a final decision on December 19, 2013.

The Proposed Decision defers decision on $122 Million spent by SCE in 2012 on the defective reactors to Phase 3 in this investigation. Phase 3 will judge the reasonableness and prudency of SCE's actions and expenditures in replacing 4 steam generators in the San Onofre reactors in 2010-2011, which proved to be defective following a leak on January 31, 2012.

The Proposed Decision also defers to Phase 3 whether SCE and SDG&E will be allowed to recover costs associated with power purchases necessary to replace the electricity not generated by San Onofre. This Proposed Decision adopts a methodology for calculating what these “replacement power costs” are, and orders SCE and SDG&E to file new cost estimates using this methodology following the final decision.

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Avatar for user 'CaptD'

CaptD | November 23, 2013 at 7:56 a.m. ― 9 months ago

Cont. 2
In Phase 2 of this investigation currently underway, the CPUC is also considering SCE's and SDG&E's request to recover $3.2 Billion in sunk costs in the shuttered nuclear plant. Briefs are due later this week and in mid-December, after which the ALJs will begin to prepare a proposed decision.

To counter the intense lobbying by SCE and SDG&E already underway to reduce even this nominal inital refund for ratepayers, as well as to blunt the criticism of SCE's unsound decision-making in responding to this outage, CDSO will once more mobilize public opinion to defend ratepayer interests. We will reinforce the resounding message given at the CPUC's first public hearing in San Diego on this investigation, October 1st: Stop the San Onofre Bailout!

The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre (CDSO) is a grassroots project of Citizens Oversight, Inc., a 501(c)(3) public benefit corporation which encourages increased engagement by the public in the operation of their local, state and federal government to reduce waste, fraud and abuse by public officials. Our Coalition member organizations also include the Peace Resource Center of San Diego, San Clemente Green, SanOnofreSafety.org and Women Occupy San Diego.

Our CDSO Intervenor Team is led by 20-year CPUC veteran Martha Sullivan and Ray Lutz, the National Coordinator for Citizens Oversight and an engineer who has intervened at the U.S. NRC on San Onofre operating license specifications.

TO SUPPORT OUR COALITION TO DECOMMISSION SAN ONOFRE GRASSROOTS INTERVENOR TEAM’S DYNAMIC WORK AT THE CPUC, CEC AND NRC, PLEASE GO TO OUR DONATION PAGE ON THE CITIZENS OVERSIGHT WEBSITE: HTTP://WWW.COPSWIKI.ORG/COMMON/DONATETOCITIZENSOVERSIGHT OR SEND YOUR TAX-DEDUCTIBLE CONTRIBUTION PAYABLE TO “CITIZENS OVERSIGHT” WITH "MEMO," "CPUC" AT:

CITIZENS OVERSIGHT 771 JAMACHA RD, SUITE 148 EL CAJON, CA 92019]

WHATEVER YOU CAN CONTRIBUTE FINANCIALLY ENABLES OUR GRASSROOTS CAMPAIGNERS TO CONTINUE OUR VERY EFFECTIVE ADVOCACY AND WATCH-DOGGING!

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