Utility Watchdog in San Diego

SDG&E: Where's my Deposit?

If you initiate service with SDG&E and for whatever reason don’t measure up to their credit standards, they may ask you for a deposit.  But don’t despair, the money is just that: a deposit that can be instantly credited to your account. We want to ensure that your deposit money gets back into your hot little hands ASAP. Here’s a Q&A on what you need to know about SDG&E deposits.
Q. How much money can SDG&E charge me for a deposit?

A. Per SDG&E's rules, the amount of deposit shall not exceed twice the average monthly bill. 

Q. When will SDG&E ask me for a deposit?
A. Since your deposit is based on your usage at your new residence, SDG&E won’t request a deposit when you first initiate service. They’ll first monitor your usage, and you can expect a deposit request with an exact number a couple months after you move in. If you suspect you may be asked for a deposit and want to keep the figure low, be extra careful of your energy usage the first few months.

Q. Is SDG&E collecting interest on my deposit?
A. When your deposit is returned, SDG&E will also pay you for interest accrued on your deposit at 1/12 of the interest rate on Commercial Paper. So you’re looking at about 0.009%; not exactly a high interest savings account.

Q. When will SDG&E return my deposit?
A. Finally, the important question. Your deposit will be returned in one of these three scenarios:

  1. Good standing – Once you’ve paid your electric bills on time consecutively for a 12 month period, your deposit plus interest will be applied to your SDG&E account balance. Be careful; as soon as you have one past due bill your 12 month period starts over again.  Residential bills are considered past due if not mailed within 19 days of the date mailed; it’s 15 for non-residential.
  2. Termination of service – if you move out of SDG&E’s service area and terminate your service, your deposit plus interest will be returned to you. Note that if you move to a location within SDG&E’s service area, they will consider this a TRANSFER of service, and they will still hold onto your deposit.
  3. Termination for Non Payment – Uh oh. When service is terminated for non payment, the deposit will be applied to the outstanding bills and any remaining amount will be returned to you. Note that SDG&E won’t dip into your deposit to avoid your shut off, they’ll only take the money once your service has been discontinued to recoup their losses. Hopefully none of you will have to encounter this lovely situation.

All this information can be found in SDG&E’s electric rule 7.  Having issues with your SDG&E deposit?  Request assistance from a UCAN representative today. 

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.