SAN DIEGO– SDG&E has made a request to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to allow them to increase rates.

SDG&E wrote in a press release they want to increase rates to be able to continue investing in technologies that advance clean energy and enhance safety, among other upgrades. However, customers will be allowed to voice their opinion before the CPUC makes its decision.

 “With costs rising everywhere, it’s just another inconvenience consumers don’t really need at this point,” said Alan Gin, the University of San Diego Economic Professor at the Knanuss School of Business.

The CPUC regulates SDG&E and will make the final decision on rate changes. The budget request is part of the General Rate Cases filed every four years with the utilities commission.

The request comes on the heels of a surge in natural gas prices, where customers reportedly saw skyrocketing bills a few months prior.

According to SDG&E, the proposal asks for an $8.45 increase per month for electricity bills and a $9.16 increase in natural gas rates.

The new rates are proposed to start in 2024 and through 2027.

The rate increase is what SDG&E estimates will cost to upgrade and maintain their power system from 2024 to 2027.

Gin added, SDG&E will be “doing things to mitigate wildfire chances, things like reducing their carbon footprint.”

The rate plan will include programs for low-earning customers. Gin argues higher rates take money out of the local economy.

“It’s going to generate $3.6 billion over a four-year period, that’s almost a billion dollars that is going to come out of the pockets of San Diego consumers,” Gin said.

Click here to view information on the public forums held for SDGE’s general rate case.

The first hearing, which will be held remotely, is set to take place on Monday at 6 p.m.