SDG&E

SEMPRA ENERGY TRUCK SEIZED IN HIT AND RUN FATALITY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Victim identified as Robert Fisher, 54

January 10, 2014 (El Cajon)  -- El Cajon Police today announced that investigators have recovered a work truck owned by SDG&E/Sempra Energy that police believe fled the scene after striking a pedestrian on January 6th shortly after 10 p.nm. at Main Street and Jamacha Road. 

The pedestrian, Robert Fisher, 54, was later struck by a second vehicle and died at the scene.

“The vehicle seized is a white 2008 Ford 550 work truck owned by SDGE/Sempra Energy. Current evidence indicates the vehicle was not operating in an official, on-duty capacity at the time of the collision,” said Lt. R. Soulard with El Cajon Police. “SDG&E/Sempra Energy has been fully cooperative in this investigation,” Lt. Soulard added.

SDG&E DONATES 448 ACRES OF ENGELMANN OAK HABITAT TO FOREST SERVICE

 

December 19, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and the U.S. Forest Service have partnered to preserve and protect 448 acres between El Cajon Mountain and the El Capitan Reservoir. Known as Oak Ridge Ranch, the property is now National Forest system land donated by SDG&E.

The partnership at Oak Ridge Ranch protects native Engelmann oak trees that only grow naturally in a narrow band that stretches along the mountain foothills of Southern California and Baja California, Mexico. The Engelmann oak is an indicator species, which means that when this beautiful evergreen oak thrives, so too does the surrounding forest ecosystem.

CPUC TO HOLD HEARING IN ALPINE FEB. 5 ON NEW "STEALTH" SDG&E POWER LINE PROJECT PROPOSED IN BACKCOUNTRY

NOTE: CORRECTED DATE

 

View map of all energy projects in our region to see cumulative impacts and disparate impact on rural areas

Judge to Decide Whether to Have Hearings on Nearly Half Billion Dollar SDG&E Power Line Project That Opponents Say Threatens Back Country Communities

January 31, 2014 (Alpine)--The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold a prehearing conference at 1:30 p.m. February 5 in the Oak Room of the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Blvd. in Alpine regarding proposed SDG&E’s Master Special Use Permit project that wouldl impact communities throughout the San Diego backcountry from Pauma Valley to Potrero (north to south) and from Ramona to Boulevard (west to east). The project is so large that SDG&E estimates construction will take about five years. 

Administrative Law Judge Jean Vieth will determine if there will be full evidentiary hearings for this project or if this prehearing conference will be the only time the issues are heard. "In its application, SDG&E asked the CPUC for permission to construct this $418.5 million project without any hearings at all—their usual method of operation,"Backcountry Against Dumps, a nonprofit community organization, states in a press release.

Donna Tisdale, President of Backcountry against Dumps and Chair of the Boulevard Planning Group, voiced these concerns. “SDG&E’s project is being sold solely as fire-hardening but it appears to be an undisclosed stealth increase in carrying capacity that may directly or indirectly support numerous commercial solar projects that are already proposed along or near the route in Boulevard, Pine Valley, Descanso, Potrero, Julian, Ramona, and perhaps elsewhere that we are not yet aware of. Solar generation projects represent potential new fire ignition sources that cannot be de-energized during red flag wind events or other emergencies.”

SDG&E WARNS CUSTOMERS ABOUT PAYMENT SCAM

 

November 21, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is continuing to alert customers to be aware of an ongoing wire fraud that has been targeting SDG&E residential and business customers. Reports indicate that individuals are misrepresenting themselves as utility employees by calling customers and threatening to turn off electric and gas service if an immediate payment is not made. Customers are instructed to purchase a pre-pay credit card, and are directed to another phone number where information is then obtained from the card and the cash value is then removed.

READER’S EDITORIAL: WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT SDG&E’S PROPOSAL FOR CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

 

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

 

“This is the general “neck of the woods” of the famous Cedar Creek Falls and Three Sisters Waterfall… We are hoping for universal outcry to insist that all parties, SDG&E, the CPUC, and the USFS will embrace this as the golden opportunity to evolve community safety and environmental integrity forward.” – Cindy Buxton

October 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) -- The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) sent out its request for scoping on SDG&E’s Master Permit renewal.  The comment period is through November 7th.   Document links are provided at the end of this editorial.

The Forest Service, in an attempt to consistently and effectively manage wilderness and wilderness-like portions of their Forest, recommends moving the 626 69kV line that runs up Boulder Creek Road out of these fragile areas and makes this suggestion along with a mile or so wide corridor for study where portions of the line could be moved. But there more to this proposal than meets the eye.

PUBLIC MEETINGS TUES. & WED. ON SDG&E PROPOSAL IN CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST AND NEARBY PROPERTIES

October 21, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – Two scoping meetings are planned this week in Julian and Alpine  for the public to obtain information and voice views on a proposal by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)  that includes Cleveland National Forest lands.  SDG&E wants to combine over 70 existing special use permits for electric facilities in the forest into one Master Special Use Permit.  In addition, SDG&E wants to replace some power lines and distribution liens both inside and outside the forest  including fire hardening, relocation and undergrounding of certain facilities.

Areas impacted include the vicinity of Descanso, Campo, Pauma Valley, Santa Ysabel, and Warner Springs.

SDG&E SHUTS OFF POWER IN RURAL AND MOUNTAIN AREAS DUE TO HIGH WINDS, FIRE DANGER

 

Update 4:20 p.m. - Winds have subsided and SDG&E has restored power to all but two customers in the Descanso/Green Valley area.

By Miriam Raftery

October 5, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has shut down power to 87 customers.  The company’s website states, “An outage has been initiated to protect public safety.”  A red flag alert and high wind warning are in effect.

"I remain extremely concerned that shutting off power jeopardizes the safety of communities and the availability of water for residents and firefighters. SDG&E has the statutory authority to cut off power only if there is an imminent threat to public safety," Supervisor Dianne Jacob posted on her Facebook page.

POWER OUTAGES POSSIBLE AMID HIGH WINDS, RED FLAG ALERT, SDG&E CAUTIONS

 

 

 

October 4, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E has notified East County Magazine’s Viejas Alerts that proactive power outages are possible due to high fire danger conditions.  A Red Flag Alert is in effect today through Sunday and a high wind watch has also been issued. 

Make sure you have flashlights and portable radio with batteries to stay informed during a power outage.  This is also a good time to sign up to follow ViejasAlerts at www.twitter.com so you can get text message alerts on your mobile phone.  If you have internet access you can also check our website for reports on fires at www.eastcountymagazine.org .

“We expect the highest winds between 4 a.m. and noon Saturday,” Stephanie Donovan, spokesperson for SDG&E, informed ECM.   Gusts of 50 to 70 miles an hour are expected in some places.

The utility has made outbound calls to 5600 customers warning of possible power shut-offs in the following areas:  Descanso, Mt Laguna, Viejas, Barrett Lake, East Jamul, Potrero, East Ramona, San Diego Country Estates, some portions of Santa Ysabel and North Wynola and Wynola, Japatul, Boulevard, Valley Center and Lake Wohlford. Click "read more" and scroll down for details.

PUBLIC URGES CPUC TO MAKE UTILITIES, NOT RATEPAYERS, PAY FOR MISTAKES AT SAN ONOFRE

 

 

By Nadin Abbott

Photos Tom Abbott

October 2, 2012 (San Diego) — The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) held two meetings on October 2 at the Bahr Shrine Auditorium in Kearny Mesa. The first session had about 50 members of the public attending, ratepayers who came from all over Southern California, including San Diego’s East County.

The common theme from residents, expressed well by Carol Jahnkow from Encinitas, was, “Why should rate payers pay for Southern California Edison (SCE) and San Diego Gas and Electric’s (SDG&E) mistakes?”

RATEPAYERS TO RALLY WITH MESSAGE TO UTILITY COMPANIES: “YOU BREAK IT, YOU BUY IT” AT CPUC HEARING OCT. 1 ON SAN ONOFRE DECOMMISSIONING COSTS

 

September 29, 2013 (San Diego) – On Tuesday, October 1st, the California Public Utilities Commission will hold hearings in San Diego on who should pay for costs of the now-closed down San Onofre Nuclear Generation Stations – ratepayers or utility companies. The hearings will be held from 2-5 p.m. and again from 6:30-9;30 p.m. at the Al Bahr Shriners auditorium, 5440 Kearny Mesa, San Diego. 

The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre plans to hold a press conference outside the site at 1 p.m. In the evening from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m., members of the Overpass Light Brigade will be outside the hearing to draw attention to ratepayers’ concerns.

SDRES ‘INSIDERS’ SUSTAINABILITY TOUR FEATURING 7 COMMERCIAL ENERGY INNOVATORS SEPT. 20

September 7, 2013 (San Diego) - The non-profit San Diego Renewable Energy Society (SDRES) invites property owners, building and corporate sustainability managers county-wide to join San Diego’s leading solar and energy efficiency innovators and contractors for an interactive, behind-the-scenes tour of seven cost-cutting commercial energy solutions during the Commercial Leg of the San Diego Renewable Energy Society's 13th San Diego Sustainability Tour, September 20, from 10 am to 4:30 pm.

CPUC TO HOLD HEARING OCT. 1 IN SAN DIEGO ON WHETHER RATEPAYERS SHOULD PAY SDGE'S SAN ONOFRE COSTS

 

September 4, 2013 (San Diego) – On the heels of a hefty rate increase that took effect September 1st, SDG&E wants  ratepayers to  pay for $808 million in costs of decommissioning the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations.  Ratepayer advocates, meanwhile, say ratepayers should receive a refund for charges assessed when the nuclear facility was off-line for more than a year before being shut down permanently.

The California Public Utilities Commission will hold two hearings on Tuesday, October 1 at 2 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Both will be held in the Al Bahr Shriners auditorium, 5440 Kaerny Mesa Road, San Diego 92111. The commission will consider whether or not ratepayers should be charged for the decommissioning costs, as well as whether ratepayers should receive refunds for charges assessed while the nuclear facilities were offline for more than a year before the shut-down decision.

SDG&E ACTIVATES ‘REDUCE YOUR USE’ REWARD PROGRAM TOMORROW

 

Customers encouraged to save energy to earn credit on bills                                                            

August 30, 2013 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has called a ‘Reduce Your Use’ event day tomorrow (Aug. 31) due to hotter-than-average temperatures.

While SDG&E has adequate electricity resources to meet the demand, residential customers can help reduce strain on the electric grid by reducing their electricity use tomorrow between 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.  By doing so, they will be eligible to earn a bill credit of $0.75 per kilowatt hour saved.

Here are some quick tips to help  save energy at home:

TIPS TO REDUCE YOUR ENERGY USE AND SAVE MONEY AS TEMPERATURES RISE

 

 

SDG&E offers programs to assist low-income ratepayers, those with medical needs, and FLEX alerts for energy savings

By Walt Meyer          

August 31, 2013 (San Diego)--Although temperatures have finally climbed to the normal range for the end of August, so far it’s been a mild summer, with temperatures below average, and for much of San Diego County, having things a few degrees cooler means not having to turn on the air conditioning. Hot summer days pose the biggest challenge to keeping the juice flowing without brownouts.

While renewable promise a long-term solution, in the short term, with San Onofre offline, likely permanently, the generating power of Southern California will be severely tested in a heat wave. As the region moves deeper into what is likely to a bad fire season, blazes near power lines also pose another imminent threats to the fragile power grid.

There is another good reason to try to keep the A/C off and switch to renewable: starting September 1, SDG&E is imposing a major rate increase. The rate hike will affect Tiers 3 and 4, but not Tiers 1 and 2 at all, which means many ratepayers in more temperate areas may not see any increase, but those who are usually have rates in the higher tiers will see their rates go up.

"REDUCE YOUR USE" ALERTS AND REWARDS NOW AVAILABLE FROM SDG&E

 

 

August 29, 2013 (San Diego) – As San Diego heads into the warmest weather of the year, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is encouraging customers to sign up for Reduce Your Use alerts, to help them earn bill credits for saving energy during hot summer days when demand for electricity is high.

FINAL EIR ISSUED FOR SDG&E'S PROPOSED OCOTILLO SOL SOLAR PROJECT

 
 
August 3, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Gas & Electric’s Ocotillo Sol Solar Project Final Environmental Impact Statement and Proposed California Desert Conservation Area Plan Amendment were published last week in the federal register. See notice http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2013-07-26/html/2013-17870.htm and links to full documents here: http://www.blm.gov/ca/st/en/fo/elcentro/nepa/ocotillosol.html. The project follows on the heels of a controversial Ocotillo Wind Energy Facility recently built that has raised many serious environmental, tribal and community concerns. An earlier desert solar project proposed for Ocotillo was blocked by a tribal lawsuit, as ECM previously reported: http://www.eastcountymagazine.org/node/4801

COURT SETS TRIAL DATE FOR WITCH CREEK/GUEJITO WILDFIRE VICTIMS

 

 

Cases have significance for ratepayers if jurors find SDG&E liable for punitive damages

By Nadin Abbott; Miriam Raftery also contributed to this report

June 21, 2013 (San Diego)—Six years after the Witch Creek/Guejito fires, which the California Public Utilities Commission found were caused by SDG&E’s lines, over 2,000 victims have reached settlements with SDG&E. But 16 victims have not settled or received any compensation from the utility for their losses.  Now a judge has ruled that some cases may proceed to trial.

At a court hearing on June 19, Judge Richard E. L. Strauss ruled that victims will finally have their day in court—in some cases, with a tort liability, all-issues trial. That could force SDG&E to pay punitive damages if a jury finds the utility was negligent and knew of fire hazards that it failed to correct.    

Judge Strauss has set a date for the all-issues trial to finally settle the remaining cases of the Witch Creek/ Rice and Guejito Fires of 2007. These were among the most destructive fires in San Diego history.

ACCIDENT CAUSES POWER OUTAGE IN EL CAJON COMMUNITIES

 

By Miriam Raftery; photo by Paul Kruze

April 28, 2013 (El Cajon ) – A brown Ford car has crashed into a power pole on Jamacha Road at Kendrick in the Granite Hills area.   Power lines are down.  An outage is affecting 1217 homes in the Granite Hills, Bostonia, Singing Hills and East El Cajon areas, according to the SDG&E website.

“The driver was not injured,” said Paul Kruze, an ECM photojournalist at the scene.  “Heartland Fire is on scene due to the risk of fire.”

SDG&E ANNOUNCES NEW POWER PURCHASE AGREEMENTS, INCLUDING SOLAR PROJECTS IN POTRERO AND VALLEY CENTER

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 18, 2013 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) yesterday announced it has signed five new renewable power purchase agreements including two in San Diego County.  But oddly, a local planner and a news editor in these rural communities have told ECM they were unaware of these projects.

SDG&E’s release did not state where in San Diego County the projects would be located. Jennifer Ramp with SDG&E has informed ECM that the two local projects are Silverado Power, LLC’s Zodiac Solar (20 Megawatts) in Potrero and Northlight Power’s C908 Solar project (7 MW) in Valley Center.  Both projects are newly executed and have not yet been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission, Ramp said.

ALL CRACKED UP? APLINE PLANNERS WANT TO HEAR ABOUT ROAD PROBLEMS CAUSED BY POWERLINK

By Tom Myers, Alpine Community Planning Group Circulation Committee

Is your pavement all cracked up because of the Powerlink construction? Is the ride home rougher than it should be on your car suspension? We want to hear from YOU!

At the next meeting of the Alpine Community Planning Group Circulation Subcommittee we will discuss roads that were damaged by SDG&E heavy trucks and equipment but not yet resurfaced. You may recall that SDG&E representatives promised us at several ACPG meetings that they would restore any damage to Alpine area roadways caused by their operations. Now that their work is done, many of us have been waiting for the repairs.

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.

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