SDG&E

PUC PROPOSES 7.7% RATE HIKE FOR SDG&E CUSTOMERS

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 1, 2013 (San Diego) – On March 29, a California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) administrative law judge proposed that SDG&E be allowed to increase rates for its customers by 7.7%.  Ratepayers in San Diego are already paying among the highest utility rates in the nation. View the full decision here.

“The people of San Diego need to stand up and speak out against this unjustifiable and unconscionable increase in electricity rates,” said Mike Aguirre, former San Diego City Attorney.  Public comments should be sent to ALJ Wong at jsw@cpuc.ca.gov and to the assigned commissioner; a current service list for the proceeding is available at www.cpuc.ca.gov.

ALPINE BUSINESS OWNERS FILE SUIT OVER SUNRISE POWERLINK IMPACTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2013 (Alpine)—Seven Alpine businesses have filed a lawsuit alleging that SDG&E failed to adequately reimburse business owners for losses caused by the two-year project to underground the high-voltage Sunrise Powerlink lines along Alpine Boulevard.  Plaintiffs allege that some businesses were forced out of business, while others suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost revenues.

An attorney for plaintiffs contends that SDG&E did not live up to its promises to mitigate construction impacts by limited portions of Alpine Boulevard, instead creating a “gauntlet of construction obstacles” that drove customers away.

LAWSUIT SEEKS INJUNCTION TO HALT TULE WIND PROJECT IN MCCAIN VALLEY

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2013 (Boulevard) – Iberdrola’s Tule Wind project has been slapped with a federal complaint seeking declaratory and injunctive relief. The lawsuit was filed by two nonprofits in San Diego’s Rural East County, the Protect Our Communities Foundation and Backcountry Against Dumps.

If built, Tule Wind’s phase I would include 67 turbines on federal land, each nearly 500 feet tall in rugged McCain Valley, a federal wildlife management and popular  recreation area. Additional turbines are planned on adjoining state, tribal and private property. Turbines would be close to campgrounds and homes in rural Boulevard, a predominantly low income community in East County where numerous other massive-scale energy projects have already been proposed. (See map showing cumulative impacts.)

 “Eastern San Diego County is targeted as a rural sacrifice industrial energy and transmission zone without benefit of equal protection under the law,” said Donna Tisdale, also a plaintiff in the suit.

SDG&E DONATES SCENIC RIDGE AND NATURAL HABITATS TO THE U.S. FOREST SERVICE

 

March 14, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – East El Capitan ridge, a habitat of the threatened California coastal gnatcatcher and home to a golden eagle nesting site, has been preserved and protected thanks to San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and the United States Forest Service

BILL WOULD LET ENERGY COMPANIES REMOVE NESTS AND EGGS, EXEMPT COMPANIES FROM PENALTIES FOR KILLING EAGLES, HAWKS AND OTHER RAPTORS

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 9, 2013 (Sacramento)—Wildlife experts are reacting with outrage to AB  516, a bill in the California Legislature that would  allow energy and utility companies to obtain “take” permits authorizing destruction of birds, eggs and nest that stand in the way of electrical transmission infrastructure. 

SDG&E  was caught flying helicopters too close to protected eagle nests at least four times during construction of Sunrise Powerlink.  Those incursions in three East County locations resulted in removal of one pilot and suspension of others, as well as grounding, GPS tracking and other regulatory enforcement actions. But if this bill goes through, such activities could occur without penalty in the future.

SUIT FILED TO STOP CLOSED-DOOR PUBLIC UTILITIES COMMISSION MEETING WITH ENERGY COMPANIES IN SAN DIEGO

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 13, 2013 (San Diego)—The law firm of former City Attorney Mike Aguirre has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Masada Disenhouse seeking an injunction to halt the California Public Utilities Commission from holding a closed-door , invitation-only meeting with energy industry stakeholders at the Scripps Seaside Forum in San Diego on March 20. Disenhouse asked to attend, but her name was removed from the list. 

“California Government Code section 11123 requires that all meetings of a state body shall be open and public, and  all persons shall be permitted to attend any meeting of a state body,” the lawsuit states.  The suit further notes that Government Code section 11120  requires that “proceedings of public agencies be conducted openly so that the people may be informed.”

SDG&E NAMED NATIONAL CLIMATE LEADER FOR SECOND CONSECUTIVE YEAR

March 4, 2013 (San Diego)– San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has received the national Supply Chain Leadership Award at the second annual Climate Leadership Awards in Washington, D.C. The Climate Leadership Awards recognize organizations that go beyond business as usual in the management and reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and are presented by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES) and The Climate Registry (TCR).

SEMPRA ENERGY ANNOUNCES 2012 FINANCIAL RESULTS, HUGE GROWTH IN REVENUES FROM RENEWABLE ENERGY

March 2, 2013 – Sempra Energy, parent company of SDG&E, this week reported 2012 earnings of $859 million, or $3.48 per diluted share, compared with $1.3 billion, or $5.51 per diluted share, in 2011.

Earnings for Sempra Renewables division took a huge leap in 2012, increasing to $61 million from $7 million in 2011. Fourth-quarter earnings for Sempra Renewables were $14 million in 2012, compared with a loss of $2 million in 2011, due primarily to the addition of solar and wind assets in 2012.

Earnings for SDG&E increased to $484 million in 2012 from $431 million in 2011.

For details, see the company’s announcement.

AGUIRRE ACCUSES EDISON OF SCHEMING TO IMPOSE RATE HIKES WITHOUT PUBLIC REVIEW TO PAY FOR FAILED SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR REACTORS

 

February 12, 2013 (San Diego)--This morning, ratepayer advocate and former San Diego City Attorney Michael J. Aguirre revealed details behind a new legal action against Southern California Edison (SCE) with what he terms “smoking gun documents showing how SCE executives have unlawfully levied multiple rate hikes on San Diego and Southern California ratepayers without formal approval from regulators.”

Aguirre is demanding refunds from Southern California Edison and SDG&E for ratepayers in our region, which is home to the highest electric rates in the USA.

SDG&E JOINS ENERGY DEPARTMENT’S WORKPLACE CHARGING CHALLENGE

 

Challenge Launched to Support and Expand Workplace Charging Availability for U.S. Employees

February 2, 2013 (Washington, D.C.)-- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is one of 13 major U.S. employers and eight stakeholder groups to join the U.S. Department of Energy’s new Workplace Charging Challenge to help expand access to workplace charging stations for American workers across the country. In a speech at the Washington Auto Show today, Energy Secretary Steven Chu outlined the new initiative, which aims to expand the availability of workplace charging, increasing the convenience of plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs) and providing drivers with more vehicle charging options.

SHOULD SHU’LUUK WIND BE BUILT IN EAST COUNTY? HEARINGS JANUARY 29 AND 30 IN ALPINE AND CAMPO

Federal comment period now open for Enviornmental Impact Statement;

SDG&E also seeks approval for power lines tied to project without environmental review or public  hearing

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2013 (Campo) – The Campo Indian tribe has proposed to lease a portion of its reservation to Invenergy LLC for  an industrial energy project, Shu-luuk Wind.  The project would include 85 wind turbines, each approximately 500 feet tall, on tribal lands near the rural communities of Campo and Boulevard.  The project study area  of impact spans over 4,700 acres; the developer claims a project footprint of 900 acres;  many new miles of roads  and power lines are also proposed.

MIDDLE SCHOOLS WIN WITH SAN DIEGO ENERGY CHALLENGE

January 26, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Simple Energy announced the three winning schools in the San Diego Energy Challenge school competition. The San Diego Energy Challenge contest gave SDG&E customers in the San Diego Unified School District (SDUSD) boundaries the chance to compete on behalf of their chosen SDUSD middle school to win cash grants. Participating customers earned points for their school of choice by saving energy on Reduce Your Use days and getting members of their community to sign up and support their team.

ACTIVE EAGLE NEST REMOVED TO MAKE WAY FOR WIND FARM

 

Similar fate could await eagles in path of Iberdrola’s Tule Wind project in East County

By Miriam Raftery

January 20, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Wildlife protection groups and residents have reacted in horror to the removal of an active bald eagle nest by a wind developer in Canada, an event documented on video January 5, just weeks after a photo of the active pair was taken at the site.

Now ECM has learned that the environmental documents filed by Iberdrola Renewables for its Tule Wind project in McCain Valley would allow SDG&E to “remove all existing raptor nests” prior to construction.

SAN DIEGO’S RESIDENTIAL SOLAR INDUSTRY BOOMING

Much to the chagrin of California’s three public utilities companies, residential solar is booming

By Roy L. Hales

Reprinted with permission from San Diego Loves Green; original published at http://www.sandiegolovesgreen.com/articles/energy/residential-solar-industry-booming/

January 15, 2013 (San Diego)--According to the Vote Solar Initiative, 1,400 megawatts (MW) of PV installations are now operating on the homes or businesses of 134,000 Californians. In a recent study, they conclude that, the benefits to ratepayers in SCE, PG&E, and SDG&E territories will be around  $92.2 million a year “by the time the state’s net metering program is fully subscribed at 5% of peak demand.” Two thirds of these installations are in low and median income neighbourhoods.

SAN DIEGO ENERGY DISTRICT MOVES CLOSER TOWARD FORMING POWER ALTERNATIVE PROVIDER FOR SAN DIEGANS

Prominent East County residents turn out in support

By Miriam Raftery

January 14, 2013 (San Diego) –In Marin County, 80% of utility customers now buy power from a local energy cooperative supported by their local government. Now a similar effort is making strides toward giving SDG&E customers an alternative option to purchase power from a  public utility backed by the City of San Diego.

 Elections have consequences---and Mayor Bob Filner has voiced strong support for creation of a San Diego Energy  District.  One of Mayor Filner’s first actions was to write a letter  of support for SDED’s plans to create a community choice aggregate (CCA) local energy district that aims to purchase power from locally produced clean and renewable resources, primarily rooftop and parking lot solar.

Last week,  a full house packed a meeting held by the San Diego Energy Foundation, the driving force behind the San Diego Energy District.   The Foundation recently received a $50,000 donation from the Protect Our Communities Foundation (an East County group that fought against Sunrise Powerlink) to conduct a feasibility study due out this summer. Leaders from other East County organizations were also among the attendees.

POWAY CHAMBER LAUNCHES “BUSINESS OVER BREAKFAST” SERIES

Setting Strategic Goals in 2013

January 14, 2013 (Poway)--The Poway Chamber of Commerce with San Diego Gas & Electric will launch its first “Business Over Breakfast” seminar of the year.  This event will be held at The Broken Yolk Café, located at 11630 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, CA 92128 on Friday, January 25, 2013. Networking and registration will begin at 7:30 a.m., followed by the program at 8:00 a.m.

SAN DIEGAN FILES SUIT OVER SMART METER HEALTH ISSUES

December 29, 2012 (San Diego)—A federal lawsuit has been filed by Celeste Deborah Cooney, who alleges that radiation from a bank of smart meters left her unable to reside in her home. Defendants in the suit include the SDG&E,  the State of California, Attorney General Kamala Harris, California Public Utilities chairman Mi chael Peevey, and Itron Inc., manufacturer of smart meters used in San Diego.

Cooney, a former bank vice president in Massachusetts, moved to San Diego to pursue a new career as a musician.  She performed at prominent locations including the Queen Mary and the Ritz Carlton.  But in April 2011, she developed a ringing in her ears, a “shock to her heart”, numbness, chest pain, heart palpitations and sleep problems that she attributes to a bank of smart meters at an apartment complex near her home in La Jolla.

CPUC DENIES SDG&E’S PROPOSAL TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR WILDFIRE LIABILITES

By Miriam Raftery

December 20, 2012 (San Diego’s East County) – in a unanimous decision, the California Public Uitlities Commission (CPUC) denied San Diego Gas & Electric  and Southern Califiornia Gas Company’s proposed Wildfire Expense Balancing Account (WEBA).  SDG&E had sought to charge ratepayers for its uninsured liability costs for wildfires caused by the utility’s lines, both for future fires and the 2007 firestorms that ravaged San Diego County. Click here for the formal decision.

“This is a huge win for San Diego County residents -- and for common sense,” said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “SDG&E’s proposal to charge ratepayers for fires the utility largely helped cause would have been a grave injustice to ratepayers and victims of the 2007 firestorms. Sempra Energy and SDG&E continue to make healthy profits and last year dished out hefty bonuses to their top executives,” she added. “The idea that SDG&E cannot afford these costs is nonsense – and I’m glad state regulators appeared to see it the same way.”

SDG&E COMPLETES DESERT SOLAR POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS

By Miriam Raftery



Environmentalists voice concerns over impacts on desert views and habitat

December 20, 2012 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced on Monday the completion of two new long-term power purchase agreements in Imperial Valley totaling 40 megawatts (MW) of solar energy. The power is to be produced in Brawley and Calipatria with diverse business enterprise (DBE) participation. 

“SDG&E has made a concerted effort to increase the number of diverse-owned suppliers we do business with in electric procurement,” said Matt Burkhart, SDG&E’s vice president of electric and fuel procurement. “

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

December 19, 2012 -- (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL

STATE

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

SUPERVISOR JACOB ASKS CPUC TO OPPOSE SDG&E’S WILDFIRE COST-RECOVERY "SCHEME"

December 6, 2012 (San Diego's East County)--County Supervisor Dianne Jacob is again asking the California Public Utilities Commission to reject an attempt by San Diego Gas & Electric to bill its customers for the uninsured cost of the region’s 2007 wildfires and any future wildfire caused by the utility.

“I remain outraged at SDG&E’s incessant attempt to slap ratepayers with a massive invoice for the 2007 wildfires that scorched hundreds of thousands of acres in rural San Diego County,” Jacob wrote today in a letter to CPUC President Michael Peevey. “The notion that SDG&E cannot afford the costs of these fires is nonsense.”

JUDGE DENIES TRIAL DATE FOR 2007 WILDFIRE VICTIMS

By Nadin Abbott

November 29, 2012 (San Diego)--Today lawyers representing residents burned out by the 2007 Witch Creek, Rice and Guejito wildfires and attorneys for defendant San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) came before Superior Court Judge Richard E. L. Strauss in San Diego Superior Court to plead for victims who don't wish to settle to be given a trial date.

This is one of the most complex tort cases in recent San Diego history.  It stemmed from the Witch Creek fire, which burned 197,990 acres and  destroyed 1,124 homes. Although the California Public Utilities Commission has found that SDG&E lines caused these fires, many wildfire victims have yet to receive a penny in compensation five years after their homes and lives were destroyed. Some remain in trailers or other temporary housing five years after the fires.

EAST COUNTY ROUNDUP: TOP LOCAL AND STATE NEWS

November 28, 2012  --  (San Diego’s East County)--East County Roundup highlights top stories of interest to East County and San Diego’s inland regions, published in other media. This week’s top “Roundup” headlines include:

LOCAL/REGIONAL

STATE

Read more for excerpts and links to full stories.

RAMONA GROUP SEEKS TO HAVE CPUC MOVE MEETING ON SDG&E WILDFIRE REIMBURSEMENT TO SAN DIEGO

The California Public Utilities Commission has announced that its November 29 meeting agenda in San Francisco will include SDG&E’s proposed Wildfire Expense Balancing Account (WEBA), the utility’s proposal to charge ratepayers for uninsured costs of wildfires. 

But the Mussey Grade Road Alliance, a Ramona citizens group, has filed a request asking the commission to move the meeting to San Diego.

BOULEVARD RESIDENTS AND MANZANITA TRIBAL MEMBERS SPEAK OUT ON WIND TURBINE HEALTH CONCERNS

By Miriam Raftery

November 12, 2012 (Boulevard)—At the latest Boulevard Planning Group meeting, community members including Native Americans shared heart-wrenching stories of how the nation's quest for renewable energy is upending their lives, dividing their communities,imperiling their health, and threatening their futures.

As in Ocotillo, where a wind project has anguished tribal members and residents with destruction of cultural and environmental resources, the community of Boulevard now faces an onslaught of massive "green" energy projects on public, tribal and private lands. 

SDG&E TO DONATE MORE THAN $600,000 THROUGH "HELPING PEOPLE IN NEED" INITIATIVE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

November 3, 2012 (San Diego)– With the holiday season approaching, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced that it will provide more than $600,000 in charitable donations to non-profit organizations in San Diego and Orange counties as part of its continuing commitment to help local underserved communities in need. 

SEMPRA ENERGY FOUNDATION DONATES $50,000 TO ASSIST EAST COAST STORM VICTIMS

November 1, 2012 (San Diego) – Sempra Energy Foundation today pledged $50,000 in disaster-relief assistance funds to East Coast storm victims. In support of Sempra Energy companies’ employee giving efforts, the Foundation also will be matching up to an additional $50,000 in employee donations, bringing the total potential donation to $150,000 by the Foundation and company employees.

Sempra Energy Foundation will direct the funds through the American Red Cross National Relief Fund.

SDG&E ENCOURAGES CUSTOMERS TO PREPARE FOR WINTER HEATING SEASON

October 29, 2012 (San Diego) – With the holidays and cooler weather right around the corner, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is helping customers prepare for the winter season by offering easy tips on how to stay safe and keep warm while also saving money.

“With most home heating systems operated by gas, now is a good time to schedule an appointment to have your heater inspected,” said Caroline Winn, vice president of customer services for SDG&E. “Keeping your furnace and other home gas appliances in good working order is essential to ensure they are running both efficiently and safely.”

READER'S EDITORIAL: SDG&E BYPASSES FOREST SERVICE; PERMIT REQUEST COULD SIGNAL A CLANDESTINE EXPANSION OF SUNRISE POWERLINK

Stealth project in Cleveland National Forest could cost taxpayers $1 billion; public has just 30 days to comment

By Cindy Buxton, Chair of the Forest Committee, Sierra Club San Diego Chapter

October 23, 2012 (San Diego’s East County)--Late last week, SDG&E filed a permit request with the California  Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and  sent an announcement to several local residents of a replacement project for five 69 kV lines which currently circle the county at the end of last week and filed the project with the CPUC.  http://www.sdge.com/regulatory-filing/3792/application-sdge-permit-construct-cleveland-national-forest-power-line

These lines traverse miles of Cleveland National Forest. Unlike the switching out of wood to steel poles that we have heard about for some time, oddly, they did not tell the Cleveland National Forest about their plans.

PLEASE review the link above and send comments to the CPUC. We have a scant 30 days to turn this around and expose SDG&E for not only gaffing off environmental quality, but probably far more important this time they are side stepping basic civil rights. Tell the CPUC they must respect the US Forest Service planning!

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