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For Immediate Release: Monday, June 27, 2022
Assemblymembers Tasha Boerner Horvath and Brian Maienschein Request Audit of SDG&E Rate Increases
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Assemblymembers Tasha Boerner Horvath (D-Encinitas) and Brian Maienschein (D-San Diego), with full bipartisan support, requested a state audit on Monday regarding energy rate increases by San Diego Gas & Electric that were approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
Ratepayers in San Diego pay the highest energy prices in the United States, averaging 36.5 cents per kilowatt-hour. Some residents have reported a tripling in energy costs during the first quarter of 2022 alone despite an overall reduction in energy consumption. This comes as Sempra Energy, which owns SDG&E, recorded over $1.25 billion in profits.
“San Diego ratepayers deserve to know why they’re paying the highest energy rates in the country while Sempra Energy shareholders just received their highest-ever dividend in May,” Assemblymember Boerner Horvath said. “This is wrong on its face — like many families, mine has worked hard to reduce our energy use, yet our bill went up by $120 a month. I look forward to the findings and recommendations presented by the State Auditor, which will shed light on the decisions that went into approving increased rates.”
Nearly 356,000 ratepayers — over a quarter of SDG&E’s customers — are behind on paying their energy bills, signaling that San Diego residents are struggling to power their homes.
“Californians are struggling, and SDG&E’s rate increase only adds to the financial distress that so many San Diegans are already facing,” said Assemblymember Maienschein. “This increase was not properly communicated to customers, and many had to scramble to make ends meet in order to pay for a utility as essential as energy. Given that so many families are still coping with the hardships of the ongoing pandemic, this could not be more untimely and inconsiderate to the impact rate payers are feeling. An audit of SDG&E is critical to finding answers and, most importantly, opportunities to immediately lower rates.”
The California State Auditor will determine how major costs, including fire risk mitigation and rising natural gas prices, contribute to the rate increases, how SDG&E financially benefitted from increased rates, and if the CPUC acted adequately to protect ratepayers from spikes and increased energy bills. The result of this investigation will be published by the State Auditor.
Assemblymember Tasha Boerner Horvath represents the 76th District, which encompasses Camp Pendleton, Oceanside, Vista, Carlsbad, and Encinitas. You can learn more about Assemblymember Horvath at a76.asmdc.org, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.