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Times zooms in on San Diego in utility fight

SDG&E bankrolls community choice opponents

SDG&E has the highest, or among the highest, utility rates in the nation.
SDG&E has the highest, or among the highest, utility rates in the nation.

The New York Times on Saturday (April 28) uses San Diego to cover the California battle over community choice aggregation, which would permit communities to choose their electricity provider. San Diego Gas & Electric, a unit of Sempra Energy, is bankrolling groups that oppose the movement, says the Times.

The Times says the city council will vote on the idea this year. Green energy proponents back the program, but SDG&E is spending money to defeat it. They have formed a group, Clean Air Coalition, claiming that major energy changes gave rise to the energy crises of 2000 and 2001. A group of African-American pastors support the local utility. That irks Bishop George McKinney, who says that “the inner-city residents are being taken advantage of.”

McKinney notes that “the cost of energy now is escalating in the community.” The article doesn’t say that SDG&E consistently has the highest, or among the highest, utility rates in the nation. San Diego, in common with some other communities, wants to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035.

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SDG&E has the highest, or among the highest, utility rates in the nation.
SDG&E has the highest, or among the highest, utility rates in the nation.

The New York Times on Saturday (April 28) uses San Diego to cover the California battle over community choice aggregation, which would permit communities to choose their electricity provider. San Diego Gas & Electric, a unit of Sempra Energy, is bankrolling groups that oppose the movement, says the Times.

The Times says the city council will vote on the idea this year. Green energy proponents back the program, but SDG&E is spending money to defeat it. They have formed a group, Clean Air Coalition, claiming that major energy changes gave rise to the energy crises of 2000 and 2001. A group of African-American pastors support the local utility. That irks Bishop George McKinney, who says that “the inner-city residents are being taken advantage of.”

McKinney notes that “the cost of energy now is escalating in the community.” The article doesn’t say that SDG&E consistently has the highest, or among the highest, utility rates in the nation. San Diego, in common with some other communities, wants to reach 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2035.

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Comments
33

All I can say is - thank the silicon gods! I’m NOT referring to those who live and work in the SF Bay Area. You know the ones trying to control every aspect of our lives. I’m referring to those who created the photovoltaic panels passively collecting the Sun’s solar energy on my roof.

With my investment, and the government’s 33% tax credit, my 19 rectangular money making panels account 98% of the cost of my annual electrical energy needs. If I added some storage batteries I could be free of SDG&E’s electrical shackle.

I also support the Community Choice Aggregation or the CCA concept. It’s working elsewhere, it can work here except for the greed of a “choice” few who control San Diego’s energy monopoly.

Here’s proof. My natural gas “provider” is NOT SDGE. Sadly, however, I’m stuck using SDGE’s pipes to deliver the commodity to my home. My monthly bill from SDG&E for the use of their network of pipes is more than DOUBLE the cost of the natural gas I burn in my home.

In addition my provider gives me a choice of three contracts for the purchase of natural gas. My choice is to lock in the price of gas for a year at-a-time. This way I can budget for the cost knowing my history of usage during the year.

Over and over we know fair competition is good for consumer. We also know how corrupt regulators twist the truth to serve their corporate masters. Having a CCA can only bring competition to this utility monopoly and that’s good for all consumers!

April 30, 2018

would it pay to get off gas and go all electric?

May 1, 2018

If you have a gas range, gas water heater and gas heating now, it would cost a huge amount to switch over to all-electric. It would make NO sense.

May 1, 2018

dwbat: But in the long run, going solar could pay off. Best, Don Bauder

May 2, 2018

Even with the ridiculous SDGE charges for delivery, natural gas is still a bargain for heating and cooking compared to the cost of doing the same with electricity.

May 2, 2018

Murphyjunk: It could pay to go all SOLAR electric, but not handing yourself over to SDG&E. Best, Don Bauder

May 2, 2018

if we went that way, I would buy and install the system myself, no need to get ripped off by a company.

May 3, 2018

JustWondering: I have said for a long time that rooftop solar is the answer. Beginning now, every large building -- such as a monster Wal-Mart -- should be required to have its roof covered with solar panels. If you read Wall Street opinions of Sempra stock, however, you can see that Wall Street isn't worried about it. And doesn't seem to be worried about Community Choice Aggregation. Best, Don Bauder

April 30, 2018

Costco is retrofitting all their warehouses with solar, skylights and replacing HPS lamps (high pressure sodium) with LED lights.

None

May 1, 2018

Ponzi: Hooray for Costco. This is the company that filched Price Co. from San Diego, but all is forgiven. Best, Don Bauder

May 2, 2018

Murphyjunk: SDG&E consistently has the highest, or among the highest, electricity rates in the nation. If you are contemplating a switch to gas, read up on SDG&E's electricity rates first. Best, Don Bauder

May 1, 2018

our elect bill is under $90 most months, we have propane for water on demand heat. for us solar would be a bad investment ( so far) our neighbors pay a lot more for keeping their pool systems running, not sure what else they use to consume so much power

May 2, 2018

Murphyjunk: Generally speaking, solar doesn't pay off immediately. You have to have it awhile before you have made up for the original investment. Best, Don Bauder

May 2, 2018

with the rate we use power, the panels would expire before we broke even

May 4, 2018

Murphyjunk: Also, one keeps hearing that solar panels will be much improved, and installation less expensive, in the future. That deters buying. now. Best, Don Bauder

May 6, 2018

dwbat: Of course, would you be switching over to solar? That might make a difference in the decision. Keep one thing in mind: the California Public Utilities Commission is in the pocket of the three utilities owned by stockholders -- Sempra (SDG&E plus Southern California Gas), Southern California Edison, and Pacific Gas & Electric. Once you made your decision between gas and electric, the commission could pull the rug out from under you. Best, Don Bauder

May 1, 2018

SDG&E is spending Big Money to fight Community Choice Aggregation or the CCA concept using rate increases as an excuse! WHAT PAP...

Ratepayers only have to remember SCE and SDG&E taking billions of dollars from ratepayers to give to themselves and their shareholders after SCE destroyed San Onofre Unit 2 and 3. They even got the CPUC to make ratepayers pay for "lost profits".

Time to call out our Utilities for all the giant donations they are giving to our decision makers to keep our electric rates around the highest in the USA despite our almost perfect weather!

May 1, 2018

CaptD: Yes, customers of Edison and SDG&E got screwed in the San Onofre deal. And they are in danger, too, because it looks like nobody will stop Edison from burying nuclear waste close to the ocean. Best, Don Bauder

May 2, 2018

I'm all gas appliances except refrigerators and washing machine. I installed solar panels three years ago and have not paid an electric bill since 2015. The solar also charges my electric car, I have only bought 50 gallons of gasoline in four years.

With 90% year-round sun, it only makes sense for homeowners to invest in solar. There are all different kinds of programs offered; lease, share, own. There is also a non-profit called GRID Alternatives that installs free solar packages on home for qualified low-income families, usually donations and volunteers (being trained to work in solar).

Now if we could only find a way to lower our water bills...

May 1, 2018

Ponzi: You are doing very well. No wonder those of us trying to generate indignity over the San Onofre screwing were only moderately successful. Best, Donn Bauder

May 2, 2018

Dennis Allen: Yes, SDG&E and other investor-owned utilities are trying to make solar uneconomic for customers.

They do a good job of concealing the fact that municipally-owned utilities have much lower rates than investor-owned ones. Best, Don Bauder

May 2, 2018

If we are not allowed to go "off the grid" sdge will still hoze rate payers with delivery charges.

May 3, 2018

I think you mean hose.

May 4, 2018

hoze is more pointed

May 5, 2018

Murphyjunk: The late George Wallace would say that "hoze is for pointy-headed intellectuals." Best, Don Bauder

May 6, 2018

dwbat: Hoze doesn't work in Scrabble, either. Best, Don Bauder

May 6, 2018

A surprising response. I would expect someone of your background to employ the phrase " I believe you mean" rather than the more cursory "I think you mean".

Just my opinion.

Opinions vary.

May 6, 2018

Murphyjunk: There are several tricks utilities could pull -- with the CPUC's backing -- to fleece ratepayers wanting solar savings. Best, Don Bauder

May 3, 2018

And "fleece" works much better than "hoze" when discussing SDG&E.

May 6, 2018

depends on where you feel the pain

May 7, 2018

While reading that, my SDG&E bill arrived simultaneously via email. It's not too bad this month, thanks to the weather. But SDG&E/Sempra execs probably pray for a long cold snap--or a heat wave.

May 7, 2018

or another excuse to raise the rates or delivery charges

May 8, 2018

Their business practices border on the criminal.

May 8, 2018

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