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State Regulatory Agency Denies SDG&E Request to Eliminate High Usage Charge

SDG&E will seek other bill relief options

San Diego CA— Tens of thousands of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) customers may continue to see a High Usage Charge (HUC) on their bills after the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) denied SDG&E’s request to have the state-mandated charge eliminated or suspended. Last summer, more than 120,000 customers were impacted by the HUC.

The HUC was incorporated into SDG&E’s billing structure in late 2017 per state requirements to encourage energy conservation. Customers incur the charge after using high amounts of electricity – more than 400 percent of their baseline allowance – to power their homes. Last summer, as multiple heat waves hit, and customers began using more energy to cool their homes, many customers began to see their bills spike.

“Last summer was a challenge for our customers, particularly for people who experienced dramatic increases in their bills due, in part, to the High Usage Charge,” said Scott Crider, SDG&E’s vice president of customer services. “We heard their concerns and took action to have the HUC removed on their behalf, but unfortunately the CPUC did not approve our request.”

In the coming months, the company will pursue other bill relief options such as eliminating seasonal pricing changes. Under the seasonal pricing structure, higher electricity prices go into effect during the summer months (June – October). Eliminating seasonal pricing would require CPUC review and approval.

Residential customers can avoid the HUC by enrolling in one of several Time-of-Use (TOU) pricing plans which are not subject to the charge. More information about TOU plans can be found at sdge.com/whenmatters.

SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing around 45 percent of its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region’s infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.