Utility Watchdog in San Diego

Summer 2016 Newsletter

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3405 Kenyon St. Suite 401, San Diego, CA 92110
(619) 696-6966  ●  www.UCAN.org

Last November the San Diego City Council approved a massive 5 year water rate increase. At that time the City’s Public Utilities Department presented only one rate option for the Council to consider.  As a result of the Council approving that rate increase, San Diego’s water rates are now among the highest in the nation.

If the Council had the advice of an independent water rate consultant whose mission was to advocate for the lowest possible water rates consistent with safe and reliable service and who had the ability to examine in detail the water department's assumptions, estimates and forecasts the City Council might have had a second alternative to consider rather than the rate increase that they approved.

UCAN is presently working on a proposal for the City Council to obtain independent expert review of any water department proposal that affects customer’s water rates.  We hope to have something to present to the Council later this year. We will keep you posted on our progress on this issue.

Below is a sampling of the other cases UCAN is currently involved with.

Thank you,

Don Kelly
Executive Director
Utility Consumers’ Action Network

UCAN Helps Save $104 Million From SDG&E General Rate Case

In SDG&E’s General Rate Case they requested approval to collect $1.905 Billion through electric rates to operate their utility. UCAN has spent the past two years challenging this request. The CPUC has just approved a settlement that UCAN, SDG&E, and most other parties have agreed to: it provides SDG&E enough money to safely operate their electric grid yet saves ratepayers over $104 million dollars from SDG&E’s original request and stops SDG&E from closing three branch offices. Click here for the Decision.

No Additional Funds to Decommission San Onofre

Since the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) shut down, UCAN has been concerned about SDG&E customers being overcharged for decommissioning costs. In April the Commission agreed with the position of UCAN and other parties to set future ratepayer contributions for the decommissioning at Zero. Click here for more information.

SDG&E Customers Should Not Pay for SDG&E’s Uninsured Wildfire Costs

UCAN and other parties have filed a motion with the CPUC to dismiss SDG&E’s application to raise electric rates to recover $379 Million in uninsured wildfire costs from 2007. Two of these fires were ignited by SDG&E equipment, resulting in two fatalities, significant destruction of property, and thousands of evacuations. UCAN believes that SDG&E’s investors should be responsible for these costs. Click here for the motion.

UCAN Opposes SDG&E’s Attempt to Avoid Testing Existing Gas Pipeline

UCAN is opposed to SDG&E's request to raise customers' rates to collect over $500 million for a new pipeline. UCAN supports the Commission's effort to require SDG&E to test the pipelines they presently have. Before SDG&E gets CPUC approval to build a new, larger and very expensive pipeline they should test the existing pipelines. Click here for UCAN’s Protest.

Fraud Squad

UCAN provides individual help to our members and to the public with utility issues. We saved individual ratepayers from wrongful billing charges and helped several customers maintain or restore service. Over the past year UCAN’s Fraud Squad has worked on over 200 cases, assisting San Diego ratepayers with billing issues, utility shut-offs, and questions about energy, water, and telecomm services. If you have a billing issue, service dispute or have received a shut off notice, put UCAN’s Fraud Squad to work for you! Give us a call at (619) 696-6966 or fill out an online request for assistance form.