San Diego Gas & Electric filed a rate request with the California Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday seeking an increase that would average $9 a month for electricity and $9.60 for natural gas effective Jan. 1, 2024.
The utility’s filing includes a four-year capital investment plan focused on expanding the power grid while increasing the supply of clean energy.
“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.
“The budget proposal we put forth 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,” he added, noting that electricity consumption in California could nearly double by 2045.
As a regulated utility, SDG&E’s rates, cost forecasts and capital investment plan must be approved by the Public Utilities Commission every four years. It will be 18 months before the commission rules on SDG&E’s latest request.
The plan for 2024 through 2027 includes the following investments, which SDG&E said are designed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045:
- Expand electric vehicle charging infrastructure throughout the region.
- Modernize the electric grid to enable the integration of significantly more solar and wind generation along with battery storage at homes and businesses.
- Install more utility-scale battery systems at strategic locations to maximize the use of electricity from solar energy.
- Invest in hydrogen technology for clear transportation and electric generation.
- Reduce wildfire risk and minimize public safety power shutoffs by hardening 590 miles of power lines.
- Accelerate the replacement of aging plastic natural gas pipelines to improve safety and reliability and reduce methane emissions.
- Give customers more control by implementing the next generation of smart meters.
The rate increase comes as natural gas costs, which are passed through to customers, have spiked worldwide because of the war in Ukraine and sanctions of Russia, which is a major gas producer.
More information about SDG&E’s filing can be found at sdgeratesinfo.com.