SDG&E

CITIZENS OVERSIGHT SUES CPUC OFFICIALS ON BEHALF OF RATEPAYERS; ALLEGES BILLING FOR POWER NEVER PRODUCED AT SAN ONOFRE

 

By Miriam Raftery

November 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) –Citizen's Oversight and the law firm of Aguirre & Severson have filed a Federal lawsuit against two top public utility officials and Southern California Edison (SCE) for allegedly violating the constitutional rights of SDG&E ratepayers and SCE ratepayers by taking over  $3 billion without just compensation. 

View lawsuit here: http://www.copswiki.org/Common/M1518

CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST FOUNDATION OBJECTS TO SDG&E POWER LINE PLANS

Photo: High-voltage Sunrise Powerlink tower by Lake Jennings

November 7, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has applied for a master permit to construct power line replacement projects in Cleveland National Forest. Now the Cleveland National Forest Foundation  has submitted formal comments objecting to the plan.

According to the Foundation, SDG&E’s project fails to assure that the state’s renewable energy mandate of 33% renewable by 2020 will be met; the project aims to increase energy project four-fold without proposing any reductions in dirty energy sources.

NEW 500 kV POWER LINES PROPOSED ACROSS EAST COUNTY : MEETINGS OCT. 20-21

 

 

East County News Service

October 17, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—The most controversial project in memory in East County was the construction of the 500kV Sunrise Powerlink, which was built despite objections of a coalition representing 79,000 people--though the route was changed amid public outcry. 

Now, a new set of 500 kV power lines are proposed through San Diego’s East County and Imperial County as part of the draft Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (DRECP) which is currently available for public review and comment at www.drecp.org. The plan aims to open 22 million acres up for energy development including vast swaths in our region.

LA MESA HOSTS SENIOR EXPO OCT. 9

 

September 24, 2014 (La Mesa)--The City of La Mesa will host its fifth annual Senior Expo on Thursday, October 9, 2014.  With a wide variety of speakers and exhibitors, Senior Expo will offer free "one-stop shopping" for all adults facing life changes that may affect their independence, or for those who would like great tips on safety and security.  Senior Expo will be held at the La Mesa Community Center, 4975 Memorial Drive, La Mesa 91942, from 8:30 am to 1:30 pm, and is supported by funding from the San Diego Association of Governments.

HOW SDG&E'S SMART DEVICES HELPED RESTORE POWER TO THEIR CUSTOMERS

 

Originally Published in the ECOreport

By Roy L Hales 

San Diego’s grid has endured an onslaught. A record breaking 5-day-long heat wave, that produced back to back peak demand records of 4,781 megawatts (MW) and 4,890 MW. There were high winds, microbursts followed by sudden downpours and flooding. A lot of trees fell and there were several outages. Repair crews worked round the clock. Some worked 24 hour shifts. Hanan Eisenman, Communications Manager for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), explained how SDG&E’s smart grid devices helped restore power to their customers.

ELECTRIC USE IN SAN DIEGO REACHES ALL-TIME PEAK RECORD

 

SDG&E Thanks Customers for Patience & Conservation Efforts During Five-Day Heat Wave & Thunderstorms

September 20, 2014 (San Diego) – Following a record-breaking five-day heat wave combined with a microburst of thunderstorms bringing high winds, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is thanking customers and community partners for their efforts to save energy and for their patience during power outages. Due to the extreme weather conditions, SDG&E reached new all-time back-to-back peak demand records of 4,781 megawatts (MW) on Sept. 15 and 4,890 MW on Sept. 16. The conservation efforts by customers limited strain on the electric grid and ensured SDG&E was able to provide reliable energy throughout the event.

SDG&E PREPARES FOR HEAT WAVE

 

Tips Available for Customers to Save Energy

Sept. 12, 2014 (San Diego)– As some of the hottest weather of the year approaches over the next several days, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is prepared to meet system demand with crews on standby if needed, and tips available for customers to save energy and avoid high bills caused by increased energy use.

SIERRA CLUB: CHAMBER PROMOTING “SHAM” SITE THAT MISLEADS CONSUMERS ON UTILITY RATE PROPOSAL

 

CPUC holds public hearings Thursday, Sept. 18 in El Cajon on controversial utility rate change proposals

East County News Service

September 11,2014 (El Cajon) – Sierra Club’s San Diego chapter is warning consumers about deceptive claims made by the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce regarding proposed changes in utility bills, including links to a utility-backed website debunked by media for its efforts to dupe the public into supporting anti-consumer measures.

The California Public Utilities Commission will hold two hearings  on the utility-backed proposed rate changes on September 18 at 2 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in El Cajon City Council chambers,200 Civic Center Way in El Cajon. The public is invited to attend and testify.

The Chamber sought to persuade members to testify in favor of proposed utility rate changes, suggesting they would save money for most. But those changes  would actually “raise energy costs for low and middle income customers, those who can least afford to pay more on their energy bill,” says Pete Hasapopoulos with the Sierra Club My Generation Campaign. In addition, he warns, “the proposed changes by utilities are unacceptable and threaten our energy efficiency and rooftop solar programs. As a result, they are deeply out of line with state and public priorities on energy and climate.”

READER'S EDITORIAL: HELICOPTERS FLYING TOO LOW

 

Photo: View of Oak Creek/Boulder Creek area taken by Cynthia Burnham from her home, where she reports seeing an SDG&E helicopter hovering "very low" for at least 10 minutes.

An open letter sent to the California Public Utilities Commission,  U.S. Forest Service/Cleveland National Forest, Congressman Duncan Hunter and Supervisor Dianne Jacob:

By Cindy Buxton

Dear CPUC, Foresters, Congressmen, and Supervisors:  

August 31, 2014 (Boulder Creek)--Several residences and visitors to the Cleveland National Forest lately between Descanso and Julian in the Boulder Creek area have complained about low flying helicopters.  These were seen hovering over people's back yards by only a few hundred feet. Subsequently we are to learn in the East County Magazine that several other residences identified the helicopters belonging to SDG&E, also experienced this to the point that horses were so frightened that they were injured.  One of the helicopters seen by several residences along Boulder Creek Road had a visible camera on the front  and apparently was not necessarily  in line with the ROW (right of way) for the TL626 line.

SDG&E LOW-FLYING HELICOPTER CAUSED HORSE INJURY IN DESCANSO, OWNER CLAIMS

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 29, 2014 (Descanso) –A helicopter chartered by San Diego Gas & Electric Company to survey lines in Descanso was flying below the legal height limit on Wednesday, startling a horse that was injured as a result, says owner Rita Gallant.

Tim Garland, a ferrier who works for Garland, was shoeing horses on her property and called Gallant to report that horses were being spooked by the low-flying chopper.

“He said, `You’ve got this helicopter hovering above your property. It’s right at the top of your gate and your horses are going crazy,” Gallant told East County Magazine.  She added that Garland told her the helicopter was just 150 to 200 feet above the gate—close enough to get a good look at the pilot.  Anything under 1,000 feet would be illegal, according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

FCC APPROVES SDG&E DRONE TESTING OVER EAST COUNTY SKIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

July 15, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)—San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) is the first utility company in the nation to be approved by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to test the use of small, unmanned drone aircraft for monitoring electric and gas lines. 

The company announced that this will improve safety and response times, but the announcement is also drawing criticism for the lack of public input and potential environmental issues.

LEARN HOW TO SAVE ENERGY AND MONEY NOW WITH LOW-COST LED BULBS

 

Community tailgate at SDG&E offices June 6 in El Cajon and July 7 in Chula Vista

East County News Service

June 4, 2014 (El Cajon)--SDG&E is going to have Community Tailgates at its branch offices, providing information on programs, services and solutions to your energy needs. Their partners, TechniArt, will be on hand offering 3 light-emitting diode (LED) light bulbs for $10 (which is a $60 value) along with additional LED sizes.

LEDs use far less electricity, and because they don’t have a filament to burn out, they last up to five times  longer than compact florescent bulbs. And LEDs offer a “cleaner” light than  compact fluorescent (CFL) bulbs. The LEDs use so much less electricity and last so much longer that the cost savings over a traditional incandescent bulb is about $540 over the life of the bulb. That’s a solid return on the investment of $3.33 per bulb in this special offer.

AN ECOLOGICAL DISASTER IN THE MAKING?

 

An analysis on the impacts of energy policies and projects on the future of East County

By Jessica Richmond and Miriam Raftery

May 29, 2014 (San Diego’s East County) – A growing number of East County residents, fire chiefs, environmentalists and elected officials are voicing alarm over the proposed large-scale destruction of natural and scenic resources for numerous industrial-scale “renewable” wind and solar energy projects and related powerlines, substations and more.  A map reveals that East County is targeted for a disproportionate share of these projects, pushed forward by energy companies and politicians who contend such development is needed to disrupt disastrous effects of global warming and fill the regional energy gap left by closing San Onofre nuclear generation stations.

But opponents say these projects are not green or sustainable, instead setting up our region for an ecological disaster in the making. They raise some crucial questions:

How did San Diego’s East County come to be targeted for fast-tracking by federal, state and county governments to facilitate construction of so many massive-scale solar and wind projects and related transmission lines in rural, mountain and desert areas instead of urban locations where demand for power is highest? 

Why isn’t preference given to incentivize less destructive renewable options, such as rooftop and parking lot solar or small-scale wind turbines for use by residents, schools, municipal governments and businesses?

SDG&E ASKS CUSTOMERS TO CONSERVE ELECTRICITY

 

Photo by Elizabeth Galloway: SDG&E replaces pole burned on Aurora Drive in Lakeside with steel pole.

May 16, 2014 (San Diego)--SDG&E asks customers across San Diego County  to conserve power by reducing electricity usages, health permitting due to peak demand.  Customers are requested to turn off lights and equipment not in use, turn of the thermostat to 78 degrees or higher and consider using fans instead of air conditioning. Avoid use of major appliances such as dishwashers, clothes washer/dryer and pool pumps if possible.

QUAIL BRUSH APPLICANT ASKS FOR 1 YEAR EXTENSION OF APPLICATION SUSPENSION

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: simulation of plant viewed from campground at Mission Trails Regional Park

April 14, 2014 (San Diego) – One year after the California Public Utilities Commissions suspended an application for the controversial gas-fired Quail Brush power plan proposed near Mission Trails Regional Park and schools in Santee, the applicant has taken steps to keep the proposal alive.

FIRED SDG&E WHISTLEBLOWER WINS $1.3 MILLION IN PUNITIVE DAMAGES

 

March 28, 2014 (San Diego)--A jury has awarded $1.3 million in punitive damages to David Bryant, a former billing supervisor at SDG&E.  Bryant claimed the company fired him after he complained that SDG&E was targeting delinquency notices to low-income ratepayers, so that SDG&E could make money from late payment fees.

SETTLEMENT REACHED OVER SAN ONOFRE: RATEPAYERS TO RECEIVE REFUNDS IF CPUC APPROVES DEAL

 

By Miriam Raftery

March 27, 2014 (San Diego)—After the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations (SONGS) were shut down in 2012 due to faulty steam generators, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Edison (SCE) continued to charge ratepayers for the costs associated with replacing those generators.  Edison later announced permanent decommissioning of the nuclear facility in June 2013 due to serious safety problems.

Ratepayers will be receiving refunds from SDG&E and Edison for those charges, if a joint settlement agreement announced today is approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  The settlement was reached SCE, the CPUC Office of Ratepayer Advocates, and The Utility Reform Network (TURN).

BACKCOUNTRY GROUP FILES COMPLAINT WITH CPUC AGAINST SDG&E OVER WATER CONCERNS

 

 

Flawed Water Supply Plan for Electric Substations Results in Request to Revoke Planned Projects

By Sharon Penny; photo by Wayne Brammer

March 16, 2014 (San Diego’s East County)--During one of the worst droughts in San Diego County history, a backcountry group has filed a complaint against San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) regarding its flawed water supply plan for construction of its ECO Substation (photo, left), Boulevard Substation, and 14 miles of new 138KV line.

Backcountry Against Dumps (BAD), a nonprofit organization dedicated to defending groundwater-dependent communities from environmentally unsafe facilities and projects, is seeking an order against SDG&E, contending that the company violated a mitigation measure (MM HYD-3) that would directly impact eastern San Diego’s already strained water supplies.  The complaint was filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CUPC) and asks the CPUC to rescind SDG&E’s water supply plan and permit to construction the ECO substation project, among other actions.

READER'S EDITORIAL: END OF DEBATE, LOCAL CLEAN ENERGY WILL KEEP THE LIGHTS ON

 

By Kathleen Connell

March 8, 2014 (San Diego's East County) - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will soon make a decision on how to replace the power from San Onofre.  This is a decision with consequences for generations to come.  The choice is local clean energy such as rooftop solar, energy efficiency, and conservation or natural gas power plants, i.e., fossil fuel generation.  Local clean energy fights climate change, doesn’t pollute our air, already supports hundreds of well-paying local jobs, and lowers electricity bills.  Natural gas power plants ramp up greenhouse gases, worsen air quality, average only 10-20 permanent employees, and raise electricity bills for all of us because they are funded by ratepayers and cost anywhere from $1 billion to $5 billion each.  And we are shackled to these monuments of the past for decades.

SDG&E PREPARES FOR HEAVY RAINFALL, OFFERS SAFETY TIPS FOR STORMY WEATHER

 

 

Photo, left: 2013 storm in East County's Boulevard community

February 27, 2014 (San Diego)-- As San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) crews prepare for periods of heavy rain, gusty winds and scattered lightning to continue, the utility is reminding customers to be on alert and prepare for unplanned power outages.   

“As the region prepares for much-needed rainfall, SDG&E crews are ready to respond to any impacts the weather may have on our electrical system,” said David L. Geier, vice president of electric operations for SDG&E. “We’re committed to providing reliable electricity service to our customers but sometimes unexpected power outages may occur, especially during storms and high winds.”

The utility reminds customers to follow the following storm safety tips:

PHOTOS OF THE WEEK: SDG&E’S NEW “ECO” SUBSTATION

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February 15, 2014 (Jacumba)—Wayne Brammer sent in these photos of SDG&E’s new Eco Substation in Jacumba. The project is (so-named for hooking up to industrial-scale renewable energy projects. But to most backcountry residents, the project is an ecological disaster that destroyed the landscape and used three times more water (90 million gallons total) than SDG&E estimated.

“This thing is a monster and they’re wasting water all over the place, not just here but all the way to Boulevard,” writes Bramley, referencing other energy projects in the pipeline.  “We really do need to separate from the city and have our own county,” he concluded, linking back to a reader’s editorial on this issue.

PREHEARING HELD ON SDG&E PLAN FOR CLEVELAND NATIONAL FOREST

“Our forest is a delicate ecosystem being attacked by growth...This project will only add to the problems we are facing out here in the forest.” – Duncan McFetridge, founder, Cleveland National Forest Foundation (photo, left)

“We plan to rebuild existing lines in the forest to provide safe, reliable service and fire protection.” – Allen Trial, SDG&E

By Sharon A. Penny

February 6, 2014 (Alpine)--SDG&E submitted a plan to retrofit and update electric line facilities within the Cleveland National Forest into one Master Special Use Permit (MSUP). Currently, SDG&E has over 70 individual special use permits for these facilities. Many organizations and back country citizens are concerned about the need, cost, environmental impacts, and potential harm to the forest of the proposed plan of development.

On February 5, California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) Administrative Law Judge Jean Vieth held a formal prehearing conference at the Alpine Community Center regarding the $418.5 million MSUP project. 

FOREST SERVICE AND CPUC EXTEND SCOPING PERIOD FOR SDG&E POWERLINE PROPOSAL IN NATIONAL FORESTS LOCALLY

Meeting set for Feb. 19 in Alpine

February 4, 2014(San Diego)—U.S. Forest Service ((USFS) officials, in conjunction with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), have announced a supplemental scoping period to provide the public with an additional opportunity to comment on the topics and alternatives that should be included in the Draft Environmental Impact Report/Environmental Impact Statement (EIR/EIS) being prepared for the SDG&E proposal.

The Forest Service and CPUC will hold a Supplemental Scoping Meeting for the SDG&E Master Special Use Permit and Permit to Construct Power Line Replacement Projects at the Alpine Community Center, 1830 Alpine Boulevard, Alpine, CA on Wednesday, February 19, 2014 from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.  The meeting is open to all.

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.

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