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May 2, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - Ratepayers are feeling the pinch from higher utility bills due to rate hikes recently approved by the California Utilities Commission.

But Sempra Energy, SDG&E’s parent corporation, isn’t suffering. In fact Sempra’s profit soared during the first quarter of this year, with earnings up 39% over the same period last year.  The company reaped $247 million in earnings, including 69 million dollars in profits – of which 32 million is due to those rate hikes paid by customers of Southern California Gas, which Sempra owns. SDG&E also reported a 9% hike, raking in 99 million dollars.

A state-approved rate hike also boosted San Diego Gas & Electric's results, which were up nearly 9 percent, to 99 million dollars.

Profits would have even more, if not for the shutdown of San Onofre—though the utilities including Sempra seek to persuade state regulators to allow them to recover costs of replacement power –which could force ratepayers to see even higher bills.