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San Diego Electric Bills To Rise

Photo caption: San Diego Gas & Electric headquarters, San Diego,  June 21, 2016.

Photo by Megan Wood / inewsource

San Diego Gas & Electric headquarters, San Diego, June 21, 2016.

Electric bills in San Diego and Orange counties will rise about 1 percent after the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved a rate structure for San Diego Gas & Electric for 2016 to 2018.

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The commission approved a modified settlement between SDG&E, the Southern California Gas Co., the Office of Ratepayer Advocates and other parties.

The agreement authorizes 2016 revenue of $1.79 billion for SDG&E's combined operations — $1.48 billion for its electric operations and $309 million for gas, according to the CPUC. The agency said the combined figure is $104 million lower than what SDG&E had requested.

"Compared to current rates, we estimate that for residential customers the average SDG&E electric bill will increase by about 1 percent, the average SDG&E gas bill remains about the same, and the average SoCalGas bill will increase by about 3 percent," said CPUC President Michael Picker, the commissioner assigned to the proceeding.

SDG&E and SoCalGas are both owned by San Diego-based Sempra Energy.

Also as part of the agreement, the CPUC said that SDG&E is prohibited from compensating its employees, managers, and executives for recovering money from consumers for 2007 wildfire-related costs that are being litigated before the agency.

The deal also provides funding to allow SDG&E to trim vegetation near overhead electric lines, and to replace many of its wooden poles with steel poles, in order to lower wildfire danger.

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