San Diego’s City Council will soon decide on a new electric and gas franchise agreement. SDG&E will likely “win” the bid once again (after all, there are no other bidders). The other real alternative, Public Power (municipalization), is not even being considered. In February 2021, the City Council heard from Barry Moline, executive director of the California Municipal Utilities Association, about the city forming a municipally run utility. He said, “there’s no question that you can do this, so don’t even think twice that it’s out of your wheelhouse.” 

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San Diego Gas & Electric versus Public Power

San Diego’s City Council will soon decide on a new electric and gas franchise agreement. SDG&E will likely “win” the bid once again (after all, there are no other bidders). The other real alternative, Public Power (municipalization), is not even being considered. In February 2021, the City Council heard from Barry Moline, executive director of the California Municipal Utilities Association, about the city forming a municipally run utility. He said, “there’s no question that you can do this, so don’t even think twice that it’s out of your wheelhouse.” 

The council has refused to consider the option, even though it would create big savings for San Diego rate payers since SDG&E charges the highest rates in California.

Sacramento’s municipal utility rates are far lower than San Diego’s. Councilman Joe LaCava said the topic of forming a municipal utility came up frequently at recent public forums on the franchise agreements and he wants the bidding process to include a proposal to explore a government-run utility. “It’s clear San Diegans are interested in the public power option,” LaCava said.

In 2020, SDG&E had a profit of $824,000,000 which went to the parent company Sempra Energy. San Diego city’s contribution to that profit was about $370,000,000 which means that $1,000,000 per day left our city.

Our City Council needs to investigate Public Power for San Diego. We have paid far too much for far too long, and actions need to be taken to lower our utility rates.

Source: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/business/energy-green/story/2021-02-26/municipal-utility-discussion

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