East County News Service
September 29, 2015 (San Diego)—San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) on Friday asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to allow the company to charge ratepayers for 90% of its remaining costs to settle the 2,500 lawsuits from the 2007 firestorms. SDG&E faced $4 billion in claims arising from the fires, but settle most cases for $2.4 billion.
Most of that was covered by the company’s liability insurance or recoveries from third parties. SDG&E now wants its shareholders to pay just 10% ($42 million) with the remaining 90% to be passed on to ratepayers. If approved, SDG&E proposes to spread out the remaining $379 million over six years, which it estimates would raise monthly bills less than $1.70 for a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt-hours of electricity per month.
By contrast, a poll of East County Californian newspaper readers found that 100% believe SDG&E and its shareholders, not ratepayers, should bear responsibility for the wildfire settlement costs.