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SAN DIEGO — San Diego Gas & Electric is proposing a rate hike on customers’ bills in 2024 if a new budget proposal passes, the public utility company announced Tuesday.

Electric monthly bills for SDG&E users could see a spike of $9 while a monthly natural gas bill increase of about $9.60 compared to 2023, spokesperson Helen Gao stated in a press release.

“Average electric bills at our company are the lowest among California’s electric investor-owned utilities, but we also recognize this is a difficult time to ask our customers to pay more given the state of the economy and inflationary pressures and are mindful of every dollar that we ask our customers to pay,” SDG&E President Bruce Folkmann said. “Given the changes in climate and the growing need for a clean energy future, this will ultimately result in improvements that create long-term benefits now and for future generations.”

General rate cases (GRC) are required to be filed by regulated utilities in California every four years, outlining their capital investments and forecasted costs for operations and maintenance, according to SDG&E.

Folkmann says the budget proposal, which focuses on safeguarding energy reliability against growing climate threats and building a clean energy future aligned with regional and state climate goals, “represents the conscientious efforts of hundreds of SDG&E employees to strike the right balance between holding down costs and making the infrastructure investments needed for a clean energy future.”

SDG&E points to a recent study titled The Path to Net Zero: A Decarbonization Roadmap for California, where the analysis indicates electricity consumption in the state could nearly double by 2045.

“Meeting this increased demand will require a significant expansion of the power grid to both meet emissions reduction targets while also maintaining grid reliability,” the public utility company stated.

A decision on the budget is expected in about 18 months, with new rates taking effect Jan. 1, 2024.

For more information about SDG&E’s filing, click here.