Written by Hannah Schmidtler
After 50 years, SDG&E’s contract with the County of San Diego is set to expire. The expiration of SDG&E’s contract on January 17 comes with great anticipation as it creates a tremendous opportunity for change.
Much is still unknown regarding the bids to win the city’s gas and electric contract. Questions are set to be answered at San Diego’s city council meeting on Thursday, December 17th at 10 am. Bids made for the contract will be revealed at the meeting, but who wins will not be decided then; the meeting is simply informational.
Although Thursday’s city council meeting does not make any formal decisions about the winner of the contract, it will give the public much-needed insight by opening up the sealed bids turned in by private energy companies.
Mayor Todd Gloria stressed the importance of this meeting in a statement, “The public deserves to know what bids have been submitted. We must ensure that we do not squander this once in a generation opportunity to help meet the city’s climate goals and protect taxpayers.”
As of now, SDG&E has confirmed that they placed a bid, hoping to win the contract once again. Berkshire Hathaway Energy and Indian Energy have also both expressed interest in the contract, but they have not confirmed whether or not they have placed bids.
The bidding processes are taking place under new rules set up by the previous mayoral administration of Kevin Faulconer. The new process comes with two major changes. First, bidders must sign on to the city’s Climate Action Plan. Second, bidders must agree to a 20-year pact that comes with an upfront payment of $80 million to the city. Despite this seemingly large payment, it pales in comparison to the potential payout that the contract winner could receive. A consultant for the city estimates that the new contract is worth at least $6.4 billion in profit over 20-years.