SDG&E

SEMPRA ENERGY LAUNCHES ANNUAL GRANT PROGRAM FOR VETERANS DAY

 

Source:  SDG&E

Photo:  Sempra Energy headquarters in downtown San Diego. Courtesy of Sempra Energy

November 12, 2018 (San Diego) - Sempra Energy is launching an annual charitable-contribution program for Veterans Day to benefit support organizations for veterans and their families, with the inaugural grant of $20,000 going to the Gary Sinise Foundation.

STRAW BALE HOME IN CAMPO HONORED AS ENERGY CHAMPION BY SDG&E, WILL BE FEATURED ON GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL TOUR OCT. 21

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Simple Construct

 

 

Hear our interview on KNSJ radio with homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren, Simple Construct builder Rebeca Tasker, and SDG&E communications manager Helen Gao.

 View video on the home’s construction and view tour of the finished residence. 

July 14, 2018 (Campo) – Inspired by historical California adobe homes,  Brian and Susan Fallgren in Campo teamed up with Simple Construct to create a straw bale and adobe home that is beautiful, comfortable even in extreme heat, fire resistant and energy efficient—producing more power than it uses. 

The home has also won numerous honors.  It’s the first residence in Southern California to receive net zero certification through the Living Building Challenge, one of only 27 homes in the world to win this recognition.  A participant in the California Advanced Homes Program, it was also a winner in  the San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) 13th annual  Energy Showcase Awards and will be featured on the San Diego Green Building Council’s Green Homes Tour on Sunday, October 21.

“It’s an incredibly functional, comfortable home to live in, not only from an environmental standpoint, but from an every day livability standpoint,” Susan Fallgren says.

Audio: 

Interview: Straw Bale Homes--Helen Gao of SDG&E, Rebecca Tasker of Simple Construct, & Campo homeowners Brian and Susan Fallgren

SDG&E’S FIREFIGHTING AIR-CRANE NOW STATIONED IN EAST COUNTY YEAR-ROUND

 

Utility also announces it has begun installing portable generators to minimize planned power outages in critical wildfire areas and will open Community Resource Centers during fire events.

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

September 14, 2018 (El Cajon) - With the threat of wildfires now constant rather than a fall season rite of passage, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) held a press conference last week to showcase its innovative firefighting “Air-Crane” at a Gillespie Field hangar.

SDG&E: FINAL SAN ONOFRE NUCLEAR PLANT SETTLEMENT WILL REDUCE RATEPAYER BILLS STARTING IN NOVEMBER

 

 

East County News Service

August 4, 2018 (San Diego) -- The Settlement Agreement for issues and costs related to the closure of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) is final after San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE) and other parties notified the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) that they accept the CPUC’s request to remove a provision that would have funded university-conducted greenhouse gas research. 

ELECTRIC SHOCK: SDG&E WANTS HEFTY RATE HIKES

 

 

Hearings planned in San Diego June 26 and 28

By Miriam Raftery

June 15, 2018 (San Diego) — Ratepayers may be in for an unpleasant shock.  San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for an 11% increase next year and increases of 6.9%, 5.1% and 4.9% in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

NEW ENERGY PRICING PLANS ADD MORE CHOICE AND CONTROL FOR CUSTOMERS

 

Five reasons to consider switching to a Time of Use plan

East County News Service

June 7, 2018  (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) new Time of Use (TOU) pricing plans are giving residents more choices and control over their energy bills. These plans offer savings for customers who can shift some of their energy use outside the higher cost on-peak hours of 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. According to an SDG&E press release:

COUNTY AND RURAL FIRE AGENCIES RECEIVE $164,500 FROM SDG&E TO INSTALL ESSENTIAL TECHNOLOGY

 

Supervisor Ron Roberts recognizes SDG&E and Fire Foundations for their leadership

Source: SDG&E

May 15, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) -- In an action that will improve communications and awareness for first responders during wildfires and other natural disasters, the San Diego County Board of Supervisors today accepted two grants totaling $164,500 for the installation of 70 Mobile Data Computers on CAL FIRE firefighting rigs in the backcountry.

LAWSUITS FILED AGAINST SDG&E OVER POWERLINE EASEMENTS: ATTORNEYS SEEK OTHER IMPACTED PROPERTY OWNERS IN EAST COUNTY

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photos: Screenshots, KUSI Turko Files

April 30, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Several property owners have filed lawsuits against SDG&E over negative impacts from the utility’s plan to widen easements to 15 feet on each side of power lines in communities including Pine Valley, Descanso and Alpine.

GRANT PROGRAM TO SUPPORT NON-PROFITS AND IMPROVE THE ENVIRONMENT

 

East County News Service

Photo: Grid Alternatives, a recent recipient of SDG&E’s Environmental Champions grant



April 11, 2018 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) kicked off its ninth annual “Environmental Champions” grant program, which supports non-profit organizations and their missions to improve the environment in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

PROJECT LOON TO POWER BACKCOUNTRY DURING POWER OUTAGES

 

 

 

By Will U. Pay

April 1, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – Responding to rural residents’ concerns over frequent power shut-offs to prevent its lines from sparking wildfires, SDG&E today announced an innovative partnership with Google’s parent company, Alphabet. 

“Just as Alphabet deployed a fleet of balloons over Puerto Rico to power cell phone service and restore Internet connections after the hurricane there, Alphabet’s Project Loon will launch a fleet of balloons over San Diego’s East County to aid residents in our rural areas during future planned power outages,”  SDG&E spokesperson Sharon Power announced today.

SDG&E HEARS FROM DESCANSO RESIDENTS IN PUBLIC FORUM ON FIRE SAFETY AND POWER SHUT-OFF CONCERNS

 

Future community forums planned March 23 in Valley Center, March 30 in Ramona and April 6 in Warner Springs. View schedule here.

By Miriam Raftery

March 22, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – At the Descanso Town Hall on March 16th,  SDG&E representatives met with residents to discuss efforts to improve fire safety and hear community concerns, including ideas for reducing impacts of power shut-offs during high fire-risk weather conditions. Representatives from 211 San Diego , the local Red Cross, the Descanso Fire Safe Council and the area’s Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) were also on hand.

Portions of Descanso had a dozen or more outages late last year, much to the frustration of many residents.  But the outskirts of Descanso have also had among the most extreme conditions. 

CITIZENS OVERSIGHT SIGNS $873 MILLION SAN ONOFRE SHUTDOWN SETTLEMENT WITH SCE, SDG&E AND OTHER PARTIES

 

Substantial relief to ratepayers: $873 million will not be paid to utilities over the next 5 years, resulting in $775 million reduction

East County News Service

January 31, 2017 (San Diego) – Citizens Oversight, also operating as the “Coalition to Decommission San Onofre,” today signed a settlement agreement with Southern California Edison (SCE), San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) and other ratepayer advocates to bring to a close the dispute over the amount ratepayers are obligated to pay for the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station (SONGS).  The nuclear plant was subject to an emergency shutdown on January 31, 2012, and permanently shuttered on June 6, 2013.

OFFICE OF RATEPAYER ADVOCATES RECOMMENDS CPUC DENY SDG&E APPLICATION FOR REHEARING ON WILDFIRE COSTS

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2018 (San Diego) – The Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA) has issued a recommendation urging the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to deny a request by three utility companies for a rehearing, after the CPUC ruled that San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) cannot charge ratepayers for its uninsured losses from the 2007 Witch, Guejito and Rice wildfires.

SDG&E SHUTS OFF POWER ACROSS BACKCOUNTRY DURING RED FLAG WARNING, SPARKING MORE ANGRY RESPONSES FROM RESIDENTS

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 28, 2018 (San Diego’s East County) – With a red flag warning in effect due to high fire danger and gusty Santa Ana winds forecast through Monday, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) has once again shut off power to many rural and mountain communities.  An outage map curiously labels these as “unplanned outages” even though clicking on communities shown in the SDG&E outages map reveals a message stating that in most of the current outages, “We’ve shut off the power for safety.” 

Power went off last night (Saturday evening) and is not slated for restoration until mid-to-late afternoon on Monday.

The power is presently out in many areas including the East County communitise Boulevard, Live Oak Springs, Descanso, Pine Valley, Alpine, Pine Hills, Santa Ysabel and surrounding communities, affecting thousands of customers. Portions of North County including Valley Center and the Pauma area are also without power.

SUPERVISOR JACOB CALLS FOR CPUC INVESTIGATION INTO SDG&E POWER SHUT-OFFS; CPUC CONFIRMS IT WILL INVESTIGATE INTENTIONAL OUTAGES

 

By Miriam Raftery

Updated September 6, 2018 with response from SDG&E

September 4, 2018 (San Diego's East County) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob has sent a letter to California Public Utilities Chairman Michael Picker requesting a formal investigation and independent review by the agency into  San Diego Gas & Electric’s decision to shut off power to thousands of San Diego County residents during recent Santa Ana winds, ostensibly to prevent power lines from sparking fires. 

In an email to ECM, a CPUC spokesman has confirmed that the regulatory agency will conduct an investigation into the intentional outages.

SDG&E SCHEDULES NEW OUTAGES, THIS TIME FOR REPAIRS, ACROSS DOZENS OF COMMUNITIES

By Miriam Raftery

December 19, 2017 (San Diego) – After restoring power to residents impacted by planned outages due to high winds, some lasting a week or more, SDG&E has announced a new round of planned outages—this time, for equipment repairs.

The utility’s site indicates notices were sent to impacted customers. View full, current map of outages here; click on “planned outages” to view those scheduled:  https://www.sdge.com/safety/outages/outage-map

Some are slated to be extensive; for instance, the Descanso and Viejas areas are projected to have a 10 hour outage starting tomorrow morning.  Parts of El Cajon are slated to be without power for eight hours on Thursday. Many other communities are also affected in the coming days.

But some residents are asking why the repairs can’t wait. Shutting off power over the holiday season raises several concerns, including:

SDG&E RESPONDS TO OUTAGE CONCERNS, BUT LEGISLATORS HUESO AND VOEPEL IGNORE INQUIRIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo by Dennis Richardson

December 19, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E has responded to our inquiry seeking answers to questions raised by concerned readers during planned outages to 17,000 SDG&E customers due to last week’s high winds, which ECM reported on here and here.

Helen Gao,  communications manager for Sempra Energy,  parent company of SDG&E,  sent the following reply to our questions on topics including loss claims, factors that determine when to shut off power, people with medical needs, support for residents during outages in need of water and communications, adjusting bills to eliminate charges during outages, and what might be done in communities with repeated outages to reduce or eliminate that need in the future.

Below is her response in full, followed by comments from rural residents with contrasting opinions on the outages:

SDG&E RESTORES POWER AFTER PROLONGED OUTAGES; RESIDENTS WHO SUFFERED STRESS AND LOSS WANT CHANGES FOR FUTURE

 

 

Residents angered at loss of water pumps, alarm systems, refrigeration, comunication and heat during outages up to a week in some areas that have suffered repeated outages

By Miriam Raftery

December 12, 2017 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E announced last night that it has fully restored power to all customers who were de-energized due to “public safety concerns” following a week-long red flag warning with strong gusty winds, low humidity and dangerous fire conditions.  An SDG&E media release states, “After crews inspected power lines all day in coordination with contract firefighters who were on hand to ensure a safe restoration process, power was turned on for all remaining customers. Field crews patrolled on the ground and in the air. Aerial inspections were completed by five helicopters in rural, mountainous areas."

Power remains out to 56 customers in the Lilac Fire zone in North County, where full restoration is expected early Tuesday evening. All 43 poles damaged in the fire will be replaced with fire-resistant steel poles and thicker, stronger wires, SDG&E indicates, adding, ““We understand that being without power, for any reason, is an inconvenience and we appreciate the patience we have received from our customers.”  For current information on outages and restoration times, visit sdge.com/outage.

Across East County,  many residents in rural, mountain and high desert towns have taken to social media to voice concerns over the prolonged outages.  Although SDG&E says it did provide advance notice to 170,000 customers of possible planned outages due to high winds and fire danger, before shutting off power to many thousands of homes, many rural residents say that’s not enough – and they want changes made. Below are highlights of residents' concerns and proposals.

IF YOU HAD FOOD SPOIL, BUSINESS INTERRUPTED OR OTHER DAMAGE FROM POWER OUTAGE, YOU CAN SUBMIT A CLAIM

 

Save receipts, take photos, and document your losses

East County News Service

December 8, 2017 (San Diego) – If you suffered damages due to planned power outages, you can submit a claim to SDG&E asking for reimbursement, says Helen Gao. SDG&E has posted information on its website:  https://www.sdge.com/business/services/making-claim or scroll down to view the information provided by the utility:

UPDATES ON LILAC FIRE: HELP AVAILABLE FOR EVACUEES AND THOSE WITHOUT POWER

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: SDG&E mobile command north of I-8 at Japatul has free wi-fi, charging stations and water for those affected by power outages in East County.

December 8, 2017 (San Diego) -- President Donald Trump has issued a disaster declaration for San Diego County due to the Lilac Fire to maximize firefighting resources and the military is also providing aircrafts to fight the fires. The declaration does not cover rebuilding for fire survivors, which could be made through a separation action later.

The National Weather Service’s revised forecast now indicates high winds will continue through Sunday, so the danger of new fires remains high and all residents are asked to refrain from any activities that could spark a fire.

Countywide, thousands remain without power, many due to planned outages to prevent ignition, others due to damaged equipment and fires. But more help is now available.

CPUC BURNS SDG&E EFFORT TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR 2007 WILDFIRES

 

 

“We will vigorously pursue all available avenues to overturn this decision.“ -- Lee Schavrien, SDG&E senior vice president and regulatory officer

By Miriam Raftery

 

 November 30, 2017 (San Diego) – Ten years after the 2007 firestorms, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) ruled today that San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) cannot charge ratepayers $379 million for the utility’s uninsured losses due to damages in the 2007 firestorms.  By a unanimous decision, the CPUC ruled that SDG&E did not reasonably manage and operate its equipment, which Cal Fire found caused or contributed to the Witch, Guejito and Rice fires.

NEW ALERT SDG&E CAMERAS PROVE TO BE CRITICAL FIRE WATCH TOOLS FOR REGION

 

Devices improve fire detection and protect communities

East County Wildfire & Emergency Alert Service Service

November 8, 2017 (San Diego) – The public, firefighters, and SDG&E crews can now watch for fires in real time on 15 new video cameras across San Diego county. You can view them here.

PG&E DISCLOSES EX-PARTE COMMUNICATIONS IN EFFORT TO INFLUENCE SDG&E WILDFIRE COSTS CASE; RATEPAYER FILES SUIT SEEKING TO PREVENT RATEPAYERS FROM BEING CHARGED FOR 2007 FIRES

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2017 (San Diego) – An ex-parte meeting between representatives of Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison and a California Public Utilities Commissioner’s advisor was held October 4th regarding the application by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) for authorization to recover costs related to the 2007 wildfires.  SDG&E has sought to charge ratepayers for its uninsured losses pursuant to a Wildfire Expense Management Account (WEMA).

COUNTY AND RURAL FIRE AGENCIES AWARDED $100,000 FOR VITAL FIRE EQUIPMENT IN ALPINE, JULIAN AND BORREGO

 

East County News Service

October 1, 2017 (San Diego) -- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) this week announced a $100,000 charitable grant to purchase essential equipment and medical apparatus for San Diego County Fire and rural fire agencies to better serve local communities and protect the region from future fires.

CPUC TO HOLD HEARING SEPT. 28 LOCALLY ON PROPOSED DECISION REGARDING WILDFIRE EXPENSE REIMBURSEMENT FOR SDG&E

 

Update:  The CPUC has announced it will hold this agenda item slated for the Thursday morning hearing, meaning no vote will be taken on this agenda item.  Public comment will still be accepted before all five commissioners at the start of the mornng hearing .

Public comment will also be taken during an all parties meeting later in the day, but not all commisioners will be present at the later meeting. See more details at the end of this story.

By Miriam Raftery

September 26, 2017 (San Diego) –The California Public Utilities Commission will hold a public hearing Thursday at 9:30 a.m. in the Chula Vista City Council Chambers  (276 Fourth Ave., Chula Vista) on the CPUC’s proposed decision to deny SDG&E’s application to charge ratepayers $379 million for recovery of its uninsured losses related to the 2007 Witch, Rice and Guejito wildfires.  A similar request for $594 million was previously denied in 2012.

SDG&E sought to recover those losses through a Wildfire Expense  Memorandum Account (WEMA).  The proposed decision against SDG&E has drawn praise from some, including Supervisor Dianne Jacob, but concerns from others including a fire survivor and intervener in the case.  Some ratepayer advocates also warn that the CPUC could  change its mind on the proposed denial of SDG&E’s WEMA application or postpone action following ex-parte lobbying efforts by the utility company.

SDG&E LAUNCHES ELECTRIC VEHICLE INSTANT REBATE PROGRAM FOR K-12 TEACHERS AND FIRST RESPONDERS

 

SDG&E discount, combined with state & federal incentives, makes EVs more affordable for teachers, firefighters, police officers, Sheriff’s deputies, lifeguards and EMTs



Source:  SDG&E

September 6, 2017 (San Diego) - San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced a new giving initiative today to provide instant rebates to K-12 teachers and first responders (police, fire, Sheriff’s deputies, lifeguards and emergency medical technicians) for the purchase or lease of a new electric vehicle (EV). Under the Champions for Clean Air: SDG&E EV Rebate Program, those professionals who live and work in communities served by SDG&E in San Diego and southern Orange counties are eligible for $1,000 discounts.

SDG&E ACTIVATES REDUCE YOUR USE REWARDS PROGRAM TODAY

 

 

Customers are encouraged to save energy to earn a bill credit

September 1, 2017 (San Diego) --   San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has called a Reduce Your Use Rewards event for today, Friday, Sept. 1, due to continued hot weather throughout the region causing a rise in electric demand. To reduce strain on the electric grid, SDG&E is encouraging customers to reduce their energy use between 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

By doing so, those who are signed up for the program will be eligible to earn a bill credit of $.75 per kilowatt hour saved or $1.25 credit per kilowatt hour saved with enabling technology, like a smart thermostat. If you’re not on the Reduce Your Use rewards program, it’s not too late to join.

SDG&E SHARES TIPS ON HOW TO BEAT THE HEAT





Enough electric resources have been secured to meet increased demand


Source:  SDG&E

August 28, 2017 (San Diego) – As triple-digit temperatures approach San Diego over the next several days, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is sharing energy-savings tips to ensure customers have the latest tools and resources to make smart energy choices and save money. While SDG&E is operationally prepared to meet energy demand and there is no formal call for conservation at this time, SDG&E is reminding customers that making small changes to save energy can help avoid high bills caused by increased energy use.

JAMUL-DULZURA PLANNING GROUP ASKS SDG&E TO DONATE FORMER SIMPSON NURSERY PROPERTY AS A COMMUNITY PARK

 

By Miriam Raftery

August 28, 2017 (Jamul) – The Jamul-Dulzura Community Planning Group is seeking a park in Jamul. At its last meeting, the group voted unanimously to approve a proposal by Joe Stuyvesant to ask SDG&E to donate a 3.75 parcel that it purchased from Simpson Nursery for a community park.

According to the meeting minutes, SDG&E pad $1 million for the property, but the value may have dropped to as little as $180,000, giving SDG&E a tax advantage to donate the parcel, which the County could be asked to maintain as a park for the benefit of residents. Stuyvesant offered to head a sub-committee if SDG&E will agree to the proposal.

Below is a copy of the letter sent to SDG&E:

EAST COUNTY RESIDENTS WEIGH LEGAL CHALLENGE TO POWERLINK MITIGATION GRANT DISTRIBUTION, DEERHORN VALLEY ANTLER REPORTS

 

East County News Service

August 4, 2017 (Deerhorn Valley) – The Deerhorn Valley Antler, in an email to its  Jamul-area residents, states that a resident has stepped forward to assemble a legal team hoping challenge the distribution of Sunrise Powerlink mitigation grants.  Deerhorn Valley Antler editor Kim Hamilton writes, "They now have the basic [original] documents along with additional ones that have recently surfaced.  This team is experienced in previous lawsuits vs. Sempra and the recent Porter Ranch gas leak.”

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