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FOX 5 San Diego

SDG&E customers pack room for last public hearing on rate hike

By Zara Barker,


SAN DIEGO — Dozens of people packed the Sherman Heights Community Center to speak out about a proposed rate hike from San Diego Gas and Electric.

SDG&E is proposing a $3 billion budget from 2024-2027, which would increase rates by an average of $18 a month. According to SDG&E, this would be an average increase.

The proposal first needs to go through the California Public Utilities Commission, or CPUC, which regulates utility companies across the state.

The CPUC held two virtual meetings to hear public comment on the proposal. On Thursday, it held its first in-person meetings, at 2 and 6 p.m.

“People in San Diego are really upset with the rate hikes of SDG&E,” said Derek Casady, a customer of SDG&E and a member of Public Power San Diego, a group efforting to change the region to a “publicly owned municipal utility.” “We need to have public power, not investor- owned power.”

Casady’s speech was met with a loud applause.

“You basically get what you tolerate and I’m done tolerating,” said Mary Davis, a customer of SDG&E in Alpine. “As far as the rate hikes, we are already the most expensive in the nation.”

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According to SDG&E, its $3 billion budget, which includes the increased rates, will fund technologies to advance clean energy and safety.

SDG&E estimates the CPUC will make its final decision in mid-2024.

“It’s important to note that all of this infrastructure is to meet the demands of 2045 where we hope to be energy independent from fossil fuels and be net zero by 2045,” SDG&E spokesperson Anthony Wagner said before Thursday’s meetings.

Wagner says some of the changes need to be done to meet the state and local legislation.

The proposed rate hikes comes on the heels of SDG&E’s record high natural gas rates in early 2023. Davis said her bill got up to $800, and she and her family turned off the power and bundled up in jackets and coats to save money every night.

Her story is not unique as FOX 5 has interviewed several people who had made changes to their lifestyle due to the higher prices in early 2023.

SDG&E said it agreed this was a sensitive time to talk about a rate hike.

If the CPUC approves the rate increase in mid-2024, the changes would go into effect in mid-2024.

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