VALLEY CENTER (NEWS 8) – A Valley Center woman says she feels like SDG&E is walking all over her.
Katherine Laird is renting SDG&E a piece of her family’s 34-acre property to use for their equipment. According to Laird, the company is not following the terms of the agreement. Further, she recently received an electricity bill for $1,700.
Laird does recognized that she lives in a large home and does not dispute the fact she used a lot of air conditioning this past month; however, she believes the bill was a slap in the face after a disagreement over her land.
“I am extremely frustrated – extremely frustrated. I don’t mind helping out, but I don’t want to be walked on,” said Laird.
SDG&E had asked Laird to use her property for six months to stage their equipment while they replaced several power poles in the area. Laird said SDG&E told her there would be no heavy equipment and they would pay her $750 a month.
Laird said she initially had no problem helping out SDG&E. The utility company originally agreed to use half-an-acre of her property, but Laird quickly realized they were using twice that much. “It’s prime location. Right in the middle of their project.”
Laird said she spoke to the manger on site. “He said ‘oh no, we are going to be using from the street to the tree line. It’s going to be more than what they said. You need to renegotiate.’”
SDG&E agreed to double the amount of space from half-an-acre to a full acre, but would not agree to double the price.
“I felt like that was not enough if they are going to pay $750 for an acre. Rightfully, I thought that would double and they would pay me $1,500 for an acre. He said they are not allowed to do that. Their allotment is $1,000.”
Laird did sign an agreement to the $1,000 price. Now, the problem is she believes SDG&E is using more than an acre. She took pictures of the trucks and equipment on Wednesday to try and prove it.
Adding on to her frustration, her latest bill from SDG&E was $1,700. “My previous bill, I had paid $1,300 for two months. I understand it’s a big home. My new bill is $1,700 for one month. I get it, I used more electricity. It’s going to cost more. Likewise, SDG&E, you have used more property. It’s going to cost more. What’s good for the goose is good for the gander.”
A spokesperson for SDG&E in a statement acknowledge the company is using Laird’s property while they make improvements to the electric system in her community and that they are paying her for it.