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San Diegans to get chance to speak on proposed SDG&E rate hike

The California Public Utilities Commission will hold public hearings on March 15th and March 23rd.

SAN DIEGO — How would you like to sound off on SDG&E about your high bills?

Right now, the utility is seeking permission from state regulators to raise your bills again.

As part of that process, the California Public Utilities Commission is holding public hearings.

These hearings only happen every four years when SDG&E applies for a rate increase.

A virtual hearing on SDG&E's proposed budget for 2024-2027 was already held on March 6th.

Another one will be held March 15th, followed by two in-person hearings on March 23rd.

"This is the one proceeding in which SDG&E basically asks for as much revenue as they can get.  And that revenue is gonna come from the bills of SDG&E customers," said Edward Lopez,  Executive Director of UCAN, the Utility Consumers Action Network.

Lopez explained while future rate increases are likely, speaking out at these hearings can make a difference.

"Most proceedings are approved. The real question is ultimately how much of the initial SDG&E request is approved or how much has been rejected and in the past, UCAN has made great efforts to help reduce the amount SDG&E has requested,” said Lopez.

CBS 8 found SDG&E’s total budget request for 2024 through 2027 is $3.3 billion for various projects, operations and maintenance.

An SDG&E spokesperson says the proposal is centered around California's clean energy and climate change policies and regulations and 'costly' wildfire mitigation efforts.

If approved, electric customers would see their bills increase by 5.3 percent in 2024 as compared to rates this year.

Gas customers would see a 17.5 percent increase.

"UCAN certainly believes in its entirely, SDG&E's request is not just and reasonable," said Lopez.

So, how can you get involved with the upcoming hearings?

The March 15th meeting is virtual and starts at 1pm.

You can access it by phone or computer.

If you'd like to make a public comment, you must call: 

Passcode: 1767567#
Webcast: adminmonitor.com/ca/cpuc

Then, enter the passcode, press *1, un-mute your phone and record your name when prompted.

You will be put into a queue in the order you dialed in.

On March 23rd, there will be two in-person hearings held.

The first one is at 2 pm, followed by another at 6 pm at the Sherman Heights Community Center.

Those wanting to speak will have to fill out a speaker's form on-site.

It's best to arrive early.

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