Utility Watchdog in San Diego
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UCAN Spring 2016 Newsletter



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UCAN is happy to announce that after several years of advocacy the City of San Diego has approved a voluntary program to help low-income water customers. In March, San Diego’s City Council unanimously approved a new low-income assistance program, funded with ratepayer donations, called Help to Others or H2O.

UCAN's efforts began in earnest in January 2014 when we brought together officials from the City’s Public Utilities Department (PUD) and two nonprofits which currently administer a low income assistance program for SDG&E. After that meeting Wilson Kennedy from PUD was assigned to look into what other localities were doing to offer assistance to low income water customers. UCAN would like to recognize and thank Wilson who passionately advocated for this project and worked tirelessly to put this program together and make it a reality.

All water ratepayers in the City of San Diego should be receiving information on this program through an insert in your upcoming bill asking for donations. Mr. Kennedy became the program’s first donor by pledging $500 and I became the second donor by matching Mr. Kennedy’s donation. UCAN encourages all who can to donate to this valuable H2O program.

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

Thank you,

Don Kelly
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 the current SONGS Decommissioning Cost Estimate proceeding UCAN is advocating that NO additional ratepayer funds be collected from SDG&E ratepayers to decommission San Onofre. Click here for more information.

SDG&E Shareholders Should Pay for SDG&E’s Uninsured Wildfire Costs

UCAN opposes SDG&E’s pending request to recoup $379 Million of expenses it was not insured for during the 2007 Firestorm. Two of these fires were ignited by SDG&E equipment, resulting in two fatalities, significant destruction of property, and thousands of evacuations. SDG&E’s request would increase electricity for all ratepayers to foot the bill for their uninsured costs. UCAN believes that SDG&E’s investors should be responsible for these costs. UCAN.org will have more information on this case as it develops.Click here for UCAN’s protest.

SDG&E Electric Vehicle Charging Pilot

UCAN has been fighting SDG&E’s attempt to have ratepayers pay for a $103 million program for SDG&E to build, own and operate 5,500 electric vehicle charging stations for the next 22 years. UCAN argued that the program was TOO BIG, TOO LONG, and TOO EXPENSIVE for San Diego ratepayers. The CPUC agreed that SDG&E’s request was too big and too expensive. While not reducing the program to the size UCAN advocated, the CPUC did cut 2,000 chargers from SDG&E’s request and $20 million in initial funding that will result in approximately $35 million in ratepayer savings over the life of the program.

Fraud Squad

UCAN provides individual help to our members and to the public with utility issues. In 2015 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.

About UCAN

UCAN has represented the interests of San Diego County utility customers since 1983. UCAN focuses its efforts on the rates and services of San Diego Gas and Electric Company, telecommunications utilities and the City of San Diego Water Department.