SDG&E Inflates Utility Prices By More Than 10% Across San Diego

Written by Andrew Morris

As we enter the New Year recovering from a nationwide pandemic and subsequent recession, San Diego Gas & Electric has announced their plans to cripple the population further with staunch increases in utility bills universally.

In an official report over the new year, SDG&E released its plan to increase customer rates according to inflating prices of utilities like natural gas. While the company stated it would bump up costs by at least 10% universally, some people experienced a fee more than 40% higher than similar bills last year.

The statement read, “surging natural gas prices – along with the ongoing need to strengthen safety, reliability and sustainability and provide public benefit programs – are creating challenges.”

SDG&E, whose consumer base numbers in the tens, or even hundreds of thousands in San Diego, is experiencing almost universal backlash. Attorney Maria Severson voiced her opposition in an interview with KUSI News. 

“[Surging natural gas prices] is SDG&E’s problem to absorb. They shouldn’t pass it on. Does it lower rates when times are good? Of course not. Basically, it’s only when their cost goes up that they pass it on to other customers. It’s a one-way street.”

Severson went further to criticize the City of San Diego for removing protective measures on the company last May which kept prices low for customers.

“If San Diego citizens want to know why their rates are so high, they need to look no further than the San Diego city government,” she said. “The mayor put out a franchise to bid in May 2021, and six city councilmembers with the exception of three.”

Such rising prices are usually kept at bay from natural competition in the market and the threat of losing customers to a spike in prices, but SDG&E’s monopoly in San Diego on utility services permits them to change policies drastically without serious threat of defection of its consumer base.

“When you have a monopoly that holds a franchise for the City of San Diego, and when they removed the obligation in the contract to use best efforts to keep prices low, you establish a situation that we have here. When gas prices go up, they charge customers more. When they go down, customers don’t see that benefit,” said Severson.

Photo Cred: SDG&E