SAN DIEGO — San Diego Gas & Electric is requesting that the California Public Utilities Commission waive a state-mandated high usage fee that affected some 105,000 SDG&E customers during the summer months, the utility announced Tuesday.
According to SDG&E, the fee causes electricity bills to spike during months when energy use is higher than normal. Customers who used more than 400 percent of their baseline allowance were charged for their high usage and could have saved roughly $30 per month if they had not been charged. The utility company filed the request with the CPUC on Nov. 30.
“It was a challenging summer for our customers, particularly for people who experienced dramatic increases in their bills due, in part, to the high usage charge,” said Scott Crider, SDG&E’s vice president of customer services. “We’re committed to doing everything we can to develop proposals that provide some relief to high bills, and we’re starting with requesting to eliminate this charge.”
SDG&E is also considering eliminating seasonal pricing, paying out the California Climate Credit as a lump sum in August to offset high energy use during summer and conducting a revised baseline allowance study. Those three changes in accordance with the elimination of the high usage fee would deliver significant cost savings to utility customers, according to the company.
SDG&E doesn’t know when the commission may rule on the request, but the company hopes to get rid of the high usage charge before summer 2019. Residents can also avoid high usage charges by enrolling in one of the utility’s time-of-use pricing plans at sdge.com/whenmatters.