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Rancho Bernardo man who sued SDG&E over high bills appears in court

“There are hundreds of thousands of people in San Diego County who are traumatized by SDG&E and these ridiculous price increases,” said Kevin Kilpatrick.

SAN DIEGO — A Cal State San Marcos professor had his day in court Thursday in his fight against SDG&E.

Kevin Kilpatrick sued the utility company after his rates skyrocketed.

Outside the downtown Hall of Justice, protesters chanted and held signs in support of Kilpatrick, who is suing SDG&E for price gouging and emotional distress.

"What SDG&E and Sempra Energy is doing completely and totally unethical," said Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick is seeking $10,000, which is the maximum you can sue for in small claims court.

CBS 8 first reported on his story back in February when he filed the lawsuit, which he says anyone can do by simply filling out some online forms and paying a $75 fee.

The statistics lecturer has been tracking his bills for years, saying he had to do something when they climbed from an average of $70 per month to over $200.

"I was shocked, angry and frightened," said Kilpatrick.

Kilpatrick is like many SDG&E customers frustrated with higher rates, which SDG&E says are due to a combination of factors including increased natural gas prices and inflation.

A recent report released by the Public Utilities Commission unveiled more than 350,000 San Diego County households were at least 30 days late on their SDG&E bills in March.

On Thursday, Kilpatrick presented his arguments before a judge.

Meanwhile, SDG&E's representative appeared virtually, asking that the case be dropped saying the PUC should be the one to hear the case.

The hearing lasted just 15 minutes, at which point, the judge announcing he'll make his ruling as soon as Friday, or early next week.

“I'm not here just for myself. There are hundreds of thousands of people in San Diego County who are traumatized by SDG&E and these ridiculous price increases,” said Kilpatrick.

CBS 8 will provide updates when the judge makes his ruling.

WATCH RELATED: Bill credits coming for SDG&E San Diego customers (March 2022)

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