Eddie Van Herik/Peter Hidalgo
San Diego Gas & Electric
SAN DIEGO, Dec. 8, 2006 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today submitted its General Rate Case, a detailed projection of its expenses and revenues for 2008 and a budget formula for 2009-13, to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for review and approval.
“Like many businesses, we are experiencing higher costs to meet stricter government regulations, new environmental mandates and rising expenses for raw materials to build new infrastructure,” said Michael R. Niggli, chief operating officer of SDG&E and Southern California Gas Co. “Our focus is on maintaining excellent service for our customers both now and in the future.”
The General Rate Case covers nearly all the costs involved in providing service to SDG&E’s 3.4 million customers through 1.3 million electric meters and more than 825,000 gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The detailed budget – nearly 9,000 pages -- does not cover the cost of electric transmission facilities, electricity, natural gas, low-income or medical-assistance programs, or energy-efficiency rebates.
The filing is part of a lengthy, 12-month review process that will include numerous regulatory and public hearings next year, both at the CPUC in San Francisco and in San Diego.
The proposed changes would increase the bill of a typical residential electric customer using 500 kilowatt-hours a month by 2 percent, or approximately $1.70 monthly, beginning in 2008. Typical SDG&E residential gas customers using 40 therms a month would see their bill rise by 7 percent or approximately $3.90 monthly. The bill impact for typical residential customers with both gas and electric service would be approximately $5.50, or 4.4 percent.
“While our grid performed well during last summer’s heat storm, we need to maintain and improve our system to meet the needs of the region as it grows,” Niggli said.
SDG&E also said it was requesting the funding to:
• Meet new federal regulations requiring stringent inspection of all utilities’ gas pipelines in the wake of two explosions on pipeline systems outside of California.
• Comply with new government-mandated rules for treating stormwater runoff found in SDG&E underground vaults.
• Maintain programs such as Sustainable Communities, where SDG&E works with developers to design and build the most energy-efficient buildings possible to reduce the waste of electricity.
• Meet a recent U.S. Congressional mandate to increase company contributions to its pension system, as well as accommodate rising health-care costs.
San Diego Gas & Electric is a full-service energy utility that currently serves 3.4 million consumers through 1.3 million electric meters and more than 825,000 natural gas meters. The utility’s service area spans 4,100 square miles and serves customers in more than 125 communities from Southern Orange County to the Mexican border. SDG&E is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE). Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company. To learn more, go to www.sdge.com.
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