SDG&E

VALLEY CENTER FIRE-HARDENING OF LINES PROPOSED BY SDG&E: PROTESTS MUST BE RECEIVED BY DEC. 3

By Miriam Raftery

View proposal: click here

November 30, 2019 (Valley  Center) – SDG&E has submitted a notice of construction for a fire-hardening project in Valley Center. The public has until December 3 to submit any protest letters for the project, which is slated to begin construction on January 30, 2020.

The project would remove about 7 miles of an exiting powerline alignment (tie-in 6926) from the Rincon Substation to Valley Center Substation and leave existing distribution circuits in place.  About 6 miles of the tie-line would be installed underground in road right-of-way from Valley Center Substation to a cable pole on Pauma Heights Road. From there, another 3 miles of overhead line would be installed in a double-circuit overhead configuration on an existing powerline alignment from the Pauma Heights Road pole to the Rincon substation.

SDG&E RECEIVES RECOGNITION FOR WILDFIRE SAFETY INNOVATIONS AND “OUTSTANDING” ELECTRIC RELIABILITY

For 14th consecutive year, SDG&E named best in the west for electric reliability 

 

East County News Service

 

November 23, 2019 (San Diego) --  Every day, 3.6 million people in San Diego and southern Orange counties depend on San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to power their homes and businesses. Now, PA Consulting has honored the company with the inaugural national Community Safety Award for wildfire safety innovations and a regional ReliabilityOne™ Award for being the best in the West. 

“GOT POWER” PROGRAM ON GENERATORS AND BACK-UP POWER OPTIONS SPARKS INTEREST IN ALPINE

By Chris Whipple
 
Photo:   Alpine residents Sally and Brian Shepherd speaking with Robyn Herrick and Israel Juarez of SDGE.
 
November 21, 2019 (Alpine) -- East County residents braved the rain Monday evening to attend a community presentation at the Alpine Library titled, "Got Power?"  Representatives from KAMPS Propane, SDG&E, and Clayco Electric Inc. Solar answered questions about the Public Safety Power Shutoff program in East County during Santa Ana, high-wind conditions.  Chris Whipple, a resident of Flinn Springs, also made a brief presentation about back-up power plans that allow her to use her medical CPAP equipment when the power is out.   

SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB LISTENS TO COMMUNITY CONCERNS IN JULIAN

Emergency fire and medical protection, SDG&E planned outages top list of concerns

By Paul Kruze, Contributing Editor

Miriam Raftery, Editor, contributed to this report

View video of townhall: https://tinyurl.com/JacobsJulianTownHall

Photo, left, by Paul Kruze:  Supervisor Dianne Jacob and SDG&E Vice President Eugene "Mitch" Mitchell fielded audience questions.

November 7, 2019 (Julian) -- Supervisor Dianne Jacob ventured into a potential firestorm when she held a scheduled town hall forum at the Julian Town Hall on October 25th in downtown Julian. Jacob’s town hall coincided with the anniversary week for the infamous 2003 Cedar Fire and 2007 Witch Creek firestorms which devastated the eastern San Diego backcountry. Up to then, both were the two worst wildfires in California history.

But the irony didn’t stop there. Moments before the town hall was set to begin, word reached the venue that a brush fire erupted near Witch Creek between Ramona and Julian. This prompted County Fire Authority/Cal Fire Chief Tony Mecham to bolt out of the town hall where he was slated to speak in order to respond to the fast-moving fire.

“We are all on edge,” acknowledged Jacob, who chairs the county’s Unified Fire Council and outlined major investments made by the county to improve fire safety. “But we are better prepared than ever before.”

That contention, however, was disputed by the president of the former Julian-Cuyamaca Fire Protection District (JCFD)'s  board of directors, as multiple fire engines and an ambulance roared past the town hall en route to the Sawday Fire in Ramona.

PG&E TO CREDIT RATEPAYERS FOR OUTAGE, BUT SDG&E REFUSES AS THOUSANDS HERE LEFT POWERLESS

By Miriam Raftery

October 31, 2019 (San Diego) – A day after Governor Gavin Newsom ordered the California Public Utilities Commission to create tough new rules limiting mass outages by utilities seeking to limit their liability for fires and mandating compensation for ratepayers,  PG&E announced it will credit its ratepayers for blackouts, Newsom announced.  But San Diego Gas & Electric is refusing to do the same.

In respond to East County Magazine’s inquiry,  SDG&E communications manager Wes Jones responded yesterday, ““SDG&E is not processing any bill credits. SDG&E abides by rules set by the California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates how we operate. Per that process, SDG&E is not liable for circumstances beyond our control, including weather conditions like those we have been experiencing this month. SDG&E has a legal obligation to abide by tariffs, or rules, that prevent payment for damages, such as food spoilage.”

GOVERNOR NEWSOM ASKS CPUC TO REFORM POWER SHUT-OFF RULES, PENALIZE UTILITIES FOR EXCESSIVE OUTAGES AND MANDATE COMPENSATION FOR IMPACTED RATEPAYERS

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Governor Newsom met with officials and emergency responders after touring Getty Fire area in Los Angeles yesterday

October 29, 2019 (Sacramento) –San Diego rural and mountain residents weary of repeated utility-led Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) by SDG&E to prevent wildfires had complaints fall on deaf ears during Governor Jerry Brown’s administration.

By contrast, Governor Gavin Newsom has just issued a series of announced actions aimed at restricting widespread intentional outages and penalizing utilities that violate new rules that Newsom aims to impose.  In addition, Newsom called for an end to charging ratepayers during planned outages and approved funds to help compensate those left without power for losses incurred.

He also made clear that he expects the California Public Utilities Commission to take strong actions. The new Governor has appointed two new CPUC commissioners – and made clear at a press conference that he expects to see reforms, or more changes  will be made.

SDG&E OPENS MORE RESOURCE CENTERS FRIDAY IN OUTAGE AREAS

 

Update 11 a.m.  SDG&E has shut off power to around 16,000 customers due to very high winds howling through some mountain and rural areas of East County.  Winds approaching 100 mph have been clocked today atop at least one local mountain peak.

East County News Service

October 24, 2019 (San DIego's East County) -- San Diego Gas & Electric will open seven Community Resource Centers tomorrow, Friday, October 25th starting at 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. due to power outages the company initiated during the Santa Ana wind event.  Water and snacks will be available, and residents can charge devices and get up-to-date information about power outages at these Centers:

- Descanso Branch Library: 9545 River Dr. Descanso, CA, 91916

- Whispering Winds Catholic Camp: 17606 Harrison Park Road, Julian, CA, 92036

- Pine Valley Improvement Club: 28890 Old Highway 80, Pine Valley, CA, 91962

- Lake Morena Community Church: 29765 Oak Drive, Campo, CA, 91906

- Portrero Community Center: 24550 Hwy 94, Portrero, CA, 91963

- Dulzura Community Center: 1136 Community Building Road, Dulzura, CA, 91917

- Warner Springs Resource Center: 30950 CA-79, Warner Springs, CA, 92086

IS IT FAIR TO BLAST PG&E FOR NOT MANAGING BLACKOUTS LIKE SDG&E?

By Claire Trageser, KPBS | CALmatters

CALmatters is an independent public interest journalism venture covering California state politics and government.

Photo:  Flames from the Witch Fire light up the early Friday morning sky in northern San Diego County, Oct. 26, 2007. Photo by Jon Vidar/Associated Press

October 23, 2019 (San Diego) - As Pacific Gas & Electric Co. plans power shutdowns beginning Wednesday in parts of 17 Northern California counties due to high winds and fire danger, its management of the crisis has been widely criticized.

SDG&E EXPANDS POTENTIAL OUTAGE AREAS; SOME CUSTOMERS COMPLAIN OF ERRATIC NOTIFICATIONS

By Miriam Raftery

 

Update October 24:  As of 8 a.m. Thursday, power is shut off for 431 people in Dehesa, Alpine, Rancho Palo Verde, Santa Ysabel, Wynola, Pine Hills, East Descanso, Green Valley Falls, Cuyamaca, Viejas, West Descanso, Boulder Creek, Live Oak Springs, Boulevard, Jacumba, Japatul Valley, Buckman Springs, Morena Village. Resource centers have been opened in Julian and Descanso; scroll down for details.

October 23, 2019 (San Diego’s East County) – SDG&E is warning of a new round of potential power-shut offs that could affect up to 23,944 customers, with a red flag warning from 5 a.m. Thursday through 5 p.m. Friday evening.

The areas that could be impacted are Alpine, Barona, Barrett Lake, Boulevard, Campo, Cuyamaca, Descanso, East Poway, East Valley Center, Julian, Mesa Grande, Mount Laguna, Palomar Mountain, Pine Valley, Potrero, Ramona, Rancho Bernardo (portions), Santa Ysabel, Shelter Valley, Viejas and Warner Springs.

The utility’s site states that it makes several efforts to notify ratepayers prior to shutoffs. In many cases the system worked to provide customers with time to prepare for outages.  However, some rural residents have posted complaints on social media stating that they received repeated warnings of shut-offs that never occurred, and later had power shut-off with no warning.

SDG&E ANNOUNCES FIRE SAFE 3.0 INNOVATIONS TO ADVANCE WILDFIRE SAFETY

New initiatives include creating a fire science and innovation lab and leveraging artificial intelligence to enhance forecasting 

Source: SDG&E

October 21, 2019 (San Diego) -- To adapt to the effects of our changing climate and threat of year-round wildfires, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is partnering with academia, government and public safety professionals to innovate and implement more advanced technologies designed to further improve wildfire safety in the region. Initial innovations include maximizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to improve situational awareness, a new Vegetation Risk Index and satellite enabled wildfire alerts.     

'HUGE VICTORY FOR CONSUMERS': COUNTY VOTES TO CREATE AGENCY RIVAL TO SDG&E

By Ken Stone, Times of San Diego, a member of the San Diego Online News Association

Photo:  County Supervisor Dianne Jacob renewed her call for the program in her State of the County speech early this year. Photo by Ken Stone

October 15, 2019 (San Diego) - Joining San Diego and cities around the region, the Board of Supervisors voted 3-2 Tuesday to establish a community choice energy program in the county’s unincorporated areas.

SDG&E WARNS OF POWER SHUT-OFFS IN NEXT 48 HOURS TO 28,701 CUSTOMERS IN EAST COUNTY COMMUNITIES

October 9, 2019 (San Diego's East County) -- SDG&E has issued a warning that it may shut off power to 28,701 customers in East County communities starting in the next 48 hours due to wildfire risks.  A red flag alert has been issued for Thursday afternoon and Friday by the National Weather Service.  The following communities are currently forecasted to be impacted:

  • Banner Grade
  • Boulevard
  • Descanso
  • East Alpine
  • East Ramona
  • Fallbrook
  • Julian
  • Mesa Grande
  • Mt Laguna
  • Palomar Mountain
  • Pine Valley
  • Potrero
  • Rancho Santa Fe
  • Rincon
  • Santa Ysabel
  • Valley Center
  • Viejas
  • West Valley Center
  • Wynola

SUPREME COURT DENIES SDG&E APPEAL, ENDING UTILITY’S EFFORT TO CHARGE RATEPAYERS FOR 2007 FIRESTORM DAMAGES

By Miriam Raftery

October 7, 2019 (San Diego) – The U.S. Supreme Court announced yesterday that it has denied San Diego Gas & Electric Company’s request for the high court to hear an appeal of a California Supreme Court decision. The California court denied the utility company’s request to charge utility ratepayers for $379 million in liabilities for the firestorm damages beyond the $1.1 billion in insurance coverage.

POWER OUTAGE SLATED IN JULIAN TODAY

By Miriam Raftery

September 18, 2019 (Julian) – SDG&E has announced a planned power outage today from 12 noon to 4 p.m. to protect safety of workers repairing power poles.  An estimated 1,600 customers will be affected.

If you are enrolled in SDG&E’s Medical Baseline program and have devices that depend on electricity, the Planned Outage Coordinator to confirm you have received the outage notification and to make any necessary arrangements during the planned outage. The outage coordinator can be reached weekdays between 7 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. at 858-654-1785.

If you need assistance after hours or over the weekend, please call 1-800-211-7343.

SDG&E ANNOUNCES POWER OUTAGES PLANNED IN WARNER SPRINGS ON JULY 20 AND 22 FOR WOOD-TO-STEEL POLE UPGRADES

Company provides tips on how to prepare for planned outages

East County News Service

July 17, 2019 (Warner Springs) -- To strengthen the regional electric system against the threat posed by wildfires, SDG&E contractors will be working in Warner Springs to upgrade wooden power poles with fire-resistant steel poles. For the safety of the construction crews, electricity in that community will need to be turned off on two days – Saturday, July 20, and again onn Monday, July 22, – to accommodate the work.

On both days the planned outages will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will last up to 8.5 hours, according to SDG&E. Swapping out wood poles with steel poles requires the use of a helicopter, which can only be flown during daylight hours. 

In addition to upgrading the poles, crews will also replace older overhead distribution lines and other equipment, to increase the system’s capacity to withstand extreme weather conditions, such as high winds.

SDG&E OFFERS LEVEL PAY PROGRAM AND TIPS TO HELP CUSTOMERS BEAT UNPREDICTABLE SUMMER BILLS

Click here for a video explaining how Level Pay works.  

Summer electricity prices in effect as of June 1

Source:  SDG&E

June 14, 2019 (San Diego) - With summer just around the corner, SDG&E is encouraging customers to enroll in a Level Pay program that will help them avoid spikes in their energy bills and provide them with more predictable payment amounts throughout the summer and beyond. 

CAN’T AFFORD YOUR SDG&E BILL? HERE ARE PROGRAMS THAT CAN HELP

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 27, 2019 (San Diego) – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) offers programs that can provide discounts to low income individuals on certain assistance programs, as well as to people with medical equipment under a doctor’s care.  There are also no-cost energy efficient upgrades available to qualifying individuals.

WHAT SDG&E’S TIME-OF-USE RATE MEANS FOR YOU

 

 

Source: Sullivan Solar Power  

April 5, 2019 (San Diego) -- Beginning on March 1, 2019 SDG&E started defaulting its residential ratepayers to a new form of billing for electricity, a time-of-use rate known as “TOUDR1.” They plan to default 700,000 – 1,000,000 ratepayers per month to this time-of-use rate through mid-2020. SDG&E is mandated to provide two notices to ratepayers informing them 30 and 60 days prior to defaulting a customer, providing opportunities for ratepayers to opt out of being defaulted. See below for more details, or click here to RSVP for a seminar near you to learn more and speak with us in person.

SDG&E CONTINUES TO OFFER ASSISTANCE TO FEDERAL WORKERS IMPACTED BY THE RECENT GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN

 
 
Resources and protections help impacted workers maintain electric and gas service 
 
East County News Service
 
January 31, 2019 (San Diego) -- Although the partial shutdown of the federal government ended on Jan. 25, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) stands ready to help previously furloughed employees who are coping with the lingering financial effects of the recent shutdown and may be struggling to pay their energy bill.

SDG&E FILES REQUEST TO ELIMINATE HIGH USAGE CHARGE TO REDUCE VOLATILITY IN CUSTOMER BILLS

 

 

 

Company seeks to have Commission approval to remove charge prior to next summer  

Source: SDG&E

December 4, 2018 (San Diego)  – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has filed a request with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to eliminate the state-mandated high usage charge, which impacted more than 105,000 customers this past summer. Eliminating the charge for high energy users would minimize bill spikes during months when energy usage is high. 

CONSUMERS MAY SOON HAVE CHOICES ON WHERE TO BUY POWER AS MORE CITIES MOVE TOWARD COMMUNITY CHOICE

 

 

SDG&E now says it wants to exit power-purchasing business

By Miriam Raftery

November 25, 2018 (San Diego)  Across California, nearly 20 communities are now purchasing their own power through community choice energy programs that aim to lower utility bills and provide energy from clean, green sources. 

The concept is gaining bipartisan support locally, where Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced his intent in October for the citof San Diego to establish acommunity choice option backed by prominent Democrats on the city council. La Mesas city council voted unanimously in April to pursue a community choice energy alternative and Solana Beach already has one. There is also talk of some local jurisdictions banding together to form a regional community choice energy program for ratepayers.

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.

Pages