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San Diego Gas & Electric is sending out bills to about a quarter of its customers, or 350,000 residents and businesses throughout the county, warning of a pending rate hike set to hit their bills September 1.

The utility blames the rate hikes on “an untimely reduction in our region’s energy resources,” namely the ongoing closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which was deemed to be permanent in recent weeks.

Meanwhile, the California Public Utilities Commission’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates is recommending the reverse, calling for a rate reduction as a result of San Onofre’s closure.

Only Tier 3 and 4 utility users are set to be affected by the rate hikes. SDG&E has four tiers of energy rates, with additional electricity costing more once the baseline allowance for each tier has been passed. Mountain and desert area customers have a higher baseline than those along the coast and in the inland valleys.

A chart including tier allowances and rough maps of the rate regions, along with sample calculations of how much various customers can expect their bills to rise, is available on SDG&E’s website.

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