City Council members oppose SDG&E rate hikes

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SAN DIEGO – A San Diego City Council committee voted Wednesday to pass a resolution opposing a proposed rate hike from SDG&E.

“We’re raising a concern that very few people actually know about,” said Councilman David Alvarez.

Alvarez spoke to Fox 5 prior to the meeting of the Environment Committee. He chairs the committee with Councilman Todd Gloria. The two are banding together to speak out against the utility company’s plans.

“I’m worried that many of our neighbors will soon be faced with even higher rates despite their good behavior. It doesn’t seem fair,” said Gloria.

SDG&E is consolidating its current rate structure of four tiers down to two. The company said it has nothing to do with increasing profits, but rather balancing out how much its customers pay for power.

“The fact is that there are a number of customers that are paying 75 percent more for their electricity than they should be and some customers who are paying 15 percent less,” said Amber Albrecht, an SDG&E spokesperson. “So we need to look at how we bring everything into alignment with the true cost to serve.”

“We would hope the Public Utilities Commission in Sacramento would set policies which reward households that use less energy,” said Gloria.

The ultimate decision on rates will be up to the California Public Utilities Commission. Alvarez and Gloria hope to influence state regulators with the resolution that opposes rate increases, because they said doing so sends the wrong message to consumers.

“We’re concerned because the customers who are most effective of conserving electricity are going to be punished by this rate and the customers who do not conserve are going to be rewarded,” said Alvarez. “This is counter-intuitive to our goal of energy conservation and greenhouse gas emission reductions.”

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