What's being done to make bills more affordable?
We understand families are struggling right now. San Diego is experiencing the highest inflation in 40 years and everything is more expensive. And we know that an explanation about your energy bill doesn't mean it's any easier on your bank account.
We do have programs that can assist many of our customers, and we're here to help. We are also aggressively working to ease the burden on customers while delivering on our mission to be the cleanest, safest and most reliable energy infrastructure company in America.
Affordability is a challenge facing utilities across California, not just San Diego. Because we must transform the energy grid to meet California's ambitious climate goals, enable transportation electrification, respond to new challenges like cybersecurity threats, update aging infrastructure and meet the rapidly changing needs of our customers.
This affordability challenge facing California demands a statewide response and we're advocating strongly for solutions like more state and federal resources to pay some costs to ensure this clean energy transition is fair and equitable for customers.
SDG&E is actively talking to our stakeholders about potential solutions:
- Seeking state legislation to cover some of the charges for public purpose programs that are currently paid through utility bills, which could reduce electric rates by about 6%.
- Pursuing federal funds from recently passed legislation to offset some of the costs associated with climate adaptation infrastructure. Currently, about 40% of what SDG&E customers pay in their bills go toward climate-related expenses.
- Advocating strongly with regulators and state legislators to reform how electricity rates are designed to make energy bills more predictable and affordable. Today's structure simply doesn't work for our customers and comprehensive reform is essential to our region's future.
We've seen positive results in securing assistance funding
- We recently applied for and received $62.5M from the California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP) to help offset customers' outstanding bills incurred during the pandemic. To date we have also secured more than $16M under ERAP (Emergency Rent and Utilities Assistance Program) to help our customers pay off overdue bills.
- If you are struggling to pay your bill, there are a number of programs available to assist you. Visit sdge.com/assistance to learn more.
Finally, SDG&E has been advocating for rate reform for some time. We've had some successes at the California Public Utilities Commission, for example:
- Removing the High Usage Charge, which lowered bills for some customers
- Successfully advocated for eliminating some seasonal differences in electric rates for residential customers to promote bill stability throughout the year
- Received temporary approval from the CPUC to change the timing of the climate credit to help offset bills in higher energy use months