SAN DIEGO — SDG&E has unveiled a new proposal, which looks to raise rates by double digits in the year 2024.
"We obviously think this proposal makes a lot of sense," said Scott Crider, SDG&E's Senior Vice President of Customer Services and External Affairs.
The proposal is SDGE's 2024-2027 budget, also known as ‘general rate cases,’ which utility companies are required to file with the California Public Utilities Commission every four years.
Among other things, it outlines infrastructure projects and what rates SDG&E thinks customers should to pay to help fund them. In this case, SDG&E is proposing in the year 2024, that the average electricity bill go up by $9.00 a month compared to 2023. Gas, another $9.60. Combined, that adds up to more than $220 a year.
"We need to keep investing in this grid to make sure it's reliable, it's safe and it can meet all these technologies customers are gonna wanna use," said Crider.
CBS 8 asked, “could there have been a way to do this without raising bills by so much?"
"We actually had hundreds of employees work more than a year on this proposal and we really need to look at what are the needs? What is the future of the region? What are the demands of our customers," said Crider.
Crider says some of the key projects include adding more charging stations for electric vehicles, putting power lines underground to ensure fire safety, and modernizing the electric grid.
SDG&E estimates energy consumption will double by 2045.
CBS 8 asked: "It's not lost on you that this is a really tough pill to swallow when these customers see how much money SDG&E is making every year, and yet SDG&E is turning around and requesting these projects which make bills go higher. You understand the frustration here?”
“Absolutely. Of course, we do. I've heard from customers directly, from customers in this area and again it's a balance in trying to find you know what is that sweet spot to make sure that you know when the underground electric circuits are reliable and people can count on their electricity being on, making sure that you were continuing to strengthen the system in East County to make sure that our facilities don't start a fire, and make sure that you we’re ready for this massive influx of new electric vehicles," said Crider.
At this point, no project or rate increase has been approved.
Over the course of the next 18 months, the CPUC will hold hearings, and decide to approve the proposal as is, make changes, or deny it all together.
Ratepayers and advocacy groups will have a chance to voice their opinions when those hearings occur.
The CPUC is expected to set those public hearing dates in the next few weeks.
In the meantime, you can email, call, or mail them your thoughts:
CPUC Public Advisor
505 Van Ness Ave.
San Francisco, CA 94102
1 (866) 849-8390
Watch Live: Breaking down SDG&E bills; why are they so high? (Jan 20, 2022)