SAN DIEGO — SDG&E customers may be seeing lower bills this month and it's not just because you're using less energy. The power company recently let its customers know they'll be getting money back due to a settlement involving the de-commissioning of San Onofre.
If you're a customer, you should have received a notice letting you know about a discount you'll be getting. While it has nothing to do with the high energy bills from this summer, SDG&E officials say they hope it offers some relief.
But, not everyone sees it that way.
"You just feel kinda helpless,” said Lisa Facciolla's of her reaction over the past few months every time she saw her energy bill.
Lisa isn't alone. News 8 has spoken to several people who feel the same way.
Due to an unseasonably warm summer and different tier levels, SDG&E customers saw their bills skyrocket.
Company officials say they're not cheating people, they're just charging them the regulated rate, which happens to be among the highest both in the state and nationwide.
Spokesperson Wes Jones says there's a reason for that.
"60 percent of our powerlines are underground,” he said. “We have 45 percent renewable energy that we’re delivering to customers.”
Looking ahead there is a bit of relief on the way following the notice that went out to customers about the discount on their October bill and an ongoing monthly rate reduction.
The average residential customer will get $13.80 back this month followed by a $1.32 reduction.
For SDG&E CARE customers, those numbers equate to $8.50 this month and 81 cents thereafter.
The refund and reduction are the result of a settlement reached regarding how much SDG&E customers should be paying for the decommissioning of San Onofre.
"Since December of last year, there was still rates included but those are no longer needed,” said Jones. “In total, about $160-million in savings are going back to SDG&E customers.”
Jones says SDG&E sped up the refund process to help ease the stress on customers who had high summer bills.
But some aren’t impressed.
“it's really not making a difference,” said Lisa Facciolla. “$13 dollars really doesn't do justice to the amount we've accumulated over the last couple months."
Instead, she and others say they want systemwide change.
"What's gonna prevent this from happening again next year,” asked Lisa.
SDG&E’s take is that they're doing what they can in hopes of helping people conserve.
"We're trying to give our customers some tools that will be successful in saving energy and saving money,” said Jones.
SDG&E has proposed an 11 percent rate increase for 2019, so essentially this discount doesn't put a big dent in that.
They do say that twice a year customers are also given a $33.50 climate credit.