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Sempra Energy, the parent of San Diego Gas & Electric, the local utility that holds a 20 percent ownership stake in the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, which has been shuttered since January and will remain offline through the summer months due to numerous safety concerns, has announced a quarterly dividend of 60 cents per share of common stock. This rate is the same as that paid out during the year's first quarter, but represents a 25 percent increase from 48 cent quarterly dividends paid out last year.

The dividend comes on the heels of an announcement that SDG&E will pay the City of San Diego $27 million in damages resulting from the 2007 wildfires, part of what the utility expects will be around $2 billion in total settlements. Despite shareholder profits that are well above industry average, the utility still intends to make ratepayers pay for its past (and future) mistakes through rate increases.

Additionally, the Reader’s Don Bauder reported yesterday on another program SDG&E is pushing that would increase revenue by allowing the utility to cut off service to those unable to pay their bills sooner.

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