CPUC approves $50 million refund for SDG&E customers

SAN DIEGO, Sept. 8, 2005 — The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved a request by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to refund approximately $50 million to its customers. The refunds, scheduled to begin in Oct. 1, 2005, and continue to Sept. 30, 2006, come from settlements negotiated earlier this year with companies involved in the California energy crisis of 2000-2001.

Under the refund plan, a typical small-business customer who uses 1,500 kWh a month will see savings of approximately $6.89 a month on the monthly bill. A large commercial/industrial customer who uses 200,000 kWh will see a monthly bill reduced by approximately $918. Typical residential customers will see a monthly reduction of 14 cents; residential customers whose rates have been frozen if their usage is below 130 percent of baseline will not see a rate reduction.

“SDG&E filed the first complaint with the federal government in 2000, saying that the prices charged for energy were not reasonable,” said William L. Reed, senior vice president, regulatory and strategic planning for SDG&E. “We’re pleased that our continuing efforts have made this refund possible.”

Electricity prices more than tripled during the energy crisis of 2000-2001, and San Diegans were the first to feel the brunt of increased electricity costs. Several investigations at the state and federal level have led to a series of refunds to California customers.

Money for the refunds came from settlements with Mirant, El Paso Natural Gas, Duke Energy, Williams Energy and Dynegy. Thus far, SDG&E customers have received credits totaling $119 million from energy-crisis refunds.

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