The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) will hold several public forums and Information Sessions to provide an opportunity for customers of Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) to give their perspective and input to the CPUC about the request of the utilities to increase rates in 2019-2022. The forums and Information Sessions will take place as follows:
The public forums will begin with a brief presentation on the proceeding and an overview of the rate increase request of the utility, and then public comments will be heard. The CPUC Administrative Law Judge assigned to the SoCalGas and SDG&E rate cases will preside over each public forum, called a Public Participation Hearing. The Administrative Law Judge is scheduled to write a proposed decision in the matter for CPUC Commissioner consideration by the end of the year. The CPUC welcomes attendance, as public comments help the CPUC reach an informed decision.
As noted above, there will be Information Sessions in advance of certain public forums. There will be informational tables hosted by the utility, the CPUC, and other groups participating in the proceeding (these groups are called “parties” to the proceeding, and they advocate for different perspectives, such as small businesses, agricultural customers, and residential customers). Attendees will be able to stop by each table and get information on the proceeding and ask questions. The CPUC has also asked SoCalGas and SDG&E to provide customer service staff for customers to ask questions about their bills.
A General Rate Case, or GRC, is a public proceeding at the CPUC that utilities go through every three years. GRCs enable the CPUC to set the rates that a utility will collect from its customers to cover the costs of all of the equipment we see all around us—the poles and wires and meters and power plants and pipelines—as well as the cost of operating and maintaining all of that. The CPUC also allows the utilities the opportunity to earn a reasonable rate of return for investors, because they provide funds for the utilities to build the infrastructure.
In SoCalGas’ GRC, the company is asking for CPUC approval to update the costs consumers pay to a total of $2.99 billion for 2019. This would be an increase of $480 million over the 2018 costs that consumers are paying (a 19.1 percent increase) in 2019, and an additional 8.54 percent in 2020, 6.19 percent in 2021, and 6.18 percent in 2022. A typical customer (not enrolled in the low income program CARE) using 35 therms of natural gas a month would see an increase of $7.54 (or 17.7 percent) in their monthly bill in 2019.
In SDG&E’s GRC, the company is requesting to increase revenue by $218 million, to $2.199 billion in 2019 (an 11 percent increase), and an additional 7.13 percent in 2020, 5.11 percent in 2021, and 4.99 percent in 2022. If approved, a typical residential customer would see an increase of $13.70 in their monthly bill in 2019 (or 8.4 percent compared to authorized 2018 rates). That represents an increase of $6.13 (or 4.8 percent) for electric customers and $7.57 (or 21.1 percent) for natural gas customers in 2019.
While a quorum of Commissioners and/or their staff may attend, no official action will be taken.
For those unable to attend a Public Participation Hearing in person, written comments on any proceeding may be submitted to: CPUC Public Advisor, 505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco, CA 94102, or via email to email@example.com. Please refer to proceeding number A.17-10-008 for SoCalGas and A.17-10-007 for SDG&E on any written or email correspondence about these proceedings. All public comments received are provided to the CPUC’s Commissioners and the Administrative Law Judge assigned to the case.
The Ruling setting these public forums is available at http://docs.cpuc.ca.gov/PublishedDocs/Efile/G000/M213/K119/213119964.PDF.
Documents related to these proceedings are available at:
If specialized accommodations are needed to attend a Public Participation Hearing, such as non-English language interpreters, please contact the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or toll free at 866-849-8390 at least five business days in advance of the hearing.
For more information on Public Participation Hearings, please see www.cpuc.ca.gov/PPH.