LOS ANGELES, CA — Emergency legislation was passed here recently in order to cut electricity rates in San Diego, as bills have tripled this summer, resulting in a public outcry.

Customers of Sempra Energy Unit, San Diego Gas and Electric are the first to pay free market rates without a safety net, under the deregulation rules of California’s power industry.

Under the proposed legislation, the difference between rates paid by customers and the higher market-based rates would initially be footed by the local utility, which would create a balancing account.

Doug Kline, San Diego Gas and Electric spokesman, said, “It is well intentioned, but seriously flawed. It is like ordering a shopkeeper to buy a loaf of bread for $2 and sell it to customers for 60 cents.”

He said the utility was urging California Governor Grey Davis to veto the legislation because, he said, if the bill is approved, the utility’s credit ratings would suffer.

Publication date: 09/11/2000