Should Ratepayers Pay SDG&E’s San Onofre Costs? Hearing October 1st in San Diego

by on September 6, 2013 · 8 comments

in California, Economy, Energy, Environment, Health, History

 From East County Magazine / September 4, 2013

On the heels of a hefty rate increase that took effect September 1st, SDG&E wants ratepayers to pay for costs of decommissioning the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Stations. Ratepayer advocates, meanwhile, say ratepayers should receive a refund for charges assessed when the nuclear facility was off-line for more than a year before being shut down permanently.

The California Public Utilities Commission will hold two hearings on Tuesday, October 1 at 2 p.m. and again at 6:30 p.m. Both will be held in the Al Bahr Shriners auditorium, 5440 Kaerny Mesa Road, San Diego 92111. The commission will consider whether or not ratepayers should be charged for the decommissioning costs, as well as whether ratepayers should receive refunds for charges assessed while the nuclear facilities were offline for more than a year before the shut-down decision.

Opponents argue that SDG&E shareholders, not ratepayers, should foot the bill for mistakes made by SDG&E and Southern California Edison. Records obtained by California Senator Barbara Boxer revealed that the utilities covered up knowledge of faulty equipment that led to leaks at the aging facility north of San Diego.

From the CPUC website:

 The CPUC opened this multiphase investigation to consolidate and consider issues raised by the extended outages of Units 2 and 3 at SONGS. Generally, the proceeding is focused on any warranted refunds to ratepayers or rate reductions.

The Phase 2 Evidentiary Hearings on October 21-25, 2013 will consider the removal from rate base of non-useful capital assets at SONGS. Other phases of the proceeding have or will address other SONGS-related cost issues. These Public Participation Hearings are an opportunity for the CPUC to hear from the public about how the CPUC should adjust rates as a result of the non-operation of SONGS.

 The presiding Administrative Law Judge will set the Agenda and determine speaking times. During the first hour of the Public Participation Hearings, local government representatives will be given priority for public comment. Members of the public who wish to address the CPUC must sign in at the Public Participation Hearings and will be called upon in the order listed on the sign-in sheet. Community-based organizations and other groups are encouraged to identify one or two speakers to represent the views of the organization’s members.

 Administrative Law Judges Darling and Dudney, along with Commissioner Florio, will be representing the CPUC at the meetings in San Diego.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

CaptD September 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm

This is just too FUNNY, first SCE promises that their new in-house designed replacement steam generators will save ratepayers over a Billion dollars and then when they fail, almost as soon as they were installed, SCE now thinks we the ratepayers should foot the bill!.

**HA HA HA**

Get ready SCE, because now the ratepayers are going to demand that the CPUC not only make you and your Shareholders cough up the money but also pay for all the additional expenses that are going to be incurred because of your debacle!

Some estimate that bill to be about $13 Billion, so the next CPUC meeting being held in San Diego (imagine that) to discuss rebates will be very interesting.

Notice that SDG&E, a part owner of San Onofre is laying low after informing their ratepayers that everyone’s bills will be going up, I wonder why, could it be to reimburse the Utility for the damages they will be force to pay for their part of the San Onofre debacle?


CaptD September 7, 2013 at 3:43 pm

Some estimate that bill to be about $13 Billion, so the next CPUC meeting being held in San Diego (imagine that) to discuss rebates will be very interesting.

Notice that SDG&E, a part owner of San Onofre is laying low after informing their ratepayers that everyone’s bills will be going up, I wonder why, could it be to reimburse the Utility for the damages they will be force to pay for their part of the San Onofre debacle?

Ratepayers are being suckered by the Utilities and the CPUC that is supposed to regulate them for the public good, instead the Utilities have earned record profits while we the ratepayers are paying the highest rates in the USA thanks to the CPUC and remember,we have enough of sunshine to become an solar energy exporter to the states that need it, which would also jump start our economy with many new GREEN jobs.

The Final Solution?

We the ratepayers need to urge the Governor to re-populate the CPUC with impartial commissioners that will demand that the Utilities start treating us fairly, instead of like the Utilities energy slaves!


CaptD September 7, 2013 at 3:42 pm

Now SCE wants $ 2.4 Billion for their shareholders after taking ratepayers to the cleaners with their faulty in-house designed replacement steam generators that was supposed to save ratepayers a Billion dollars but failed almost as soon as they were installed!

Unit 2 & Unit 3 now have more steam generator tube damage that all the rest of the nuclear fleet combined; but the real reason that San Onofre is being decommissioned is that SCE cannot afford to have the CPUC continue its investigation into the reasonableness of the replacement project because should all the facts be made public, SCE (and minority owners SDG&E 20% and Riverside County 2% ) may be potentially on the hook for 10 to 15 Billion dollars in ratepayer REBATES, and since SCE is a deep pocket they cannot afford to take that risk!


CaptD September 7, 2013 at 3:44 pm

Uprate’s: Big Profits for Utilities & Big Losses for Ratepayers

Uprate’s allow more power to be generated which is wonderful for the Utilities bottom line (additional profits from same “old” nuclear power plant (NPP), but it is never mentioned that generating that additional power increases the wear and tear on the NPP, which the ratepayers, not the Utility, have to pay for!

At San Onofre NPP in CA (which is also now being decommissioned), SCE wanted to install new replacement steam generators (RSG’s) so they could generate more power and make more profits but their poor in-house design resulted in their RSG’s failing soon after being installed! Now ratepayers have pushed the CA Public Utility Commission (CPUC) into demanding an investigation into the reasonableness of all the monies spent in order to determine what amount of money should be rebated to ratepayers. Estimates of total cost of their debacle as 13 billion dollars, yet the Utility is claiming they are not responsible! Note, because the NPP was decommissioned prematurely, there is now a shortage of money to decommission the NPP of about 740 million dollars, since this money is collected from ratepayers while the NPP is in service. So get ready ratepayers in VT, chances are that you will soon be learning that you are going to have to pay for any shortage in decommissioning costs that have not been already collected.

Uprating is only a good deal for the Utilities and their shareholders who do not have to pay for the increased maintenance costs required by the uprate due to higher corrosion rates and fatigue stress, which are just past along to the ratepayers, as part of the NPP’s ongoing maintenance. Remember, if additional maintenance is required, the Utility also profits from that “extra” work so there is little incentive to prevent wear and tear, especially when Utility profits are at stake!


nancy September 7, 2013 at 5:27 pm

Glad to see this article, and we should be getting to that Oct. 1 meeting in force as it is totally not fair that ratepayers will bear the cost in their higher g&e bills to take care of the mess due to the company board to go forward with the “improvements” when they knew there were problems.
The shareholders got dividends all along as times have been good for them, and they now should be bearing the costs when their expenses will be going up to take care of the mess.
Isn’t that what being shareholders means? In the good times, you get money, but in the bad times due to high expenses, you don’t. You sit and wait for the bad time to pass and/or sell your stock.


CaptD September 13, 2013 at 3:55 pm

Nancy, I’m with you 100%.

The trick is how to get at 1,000 or 2,000 people to show up on Oct 1, 2013.

Anyone not able to attend can email their comment to the CPUC at:

The CPUC picked that day because it is probably the worse day for everyone that is employed and or has a family plus it is as far away (to the south) from San Onofre as they could get!


CaptD September 16, 2013 at 12:07 pm

I’d like KPBS and the other SoCal MSM’s to disclose how much money they have accepted from SDG&E, SCE and/or energy lobbyists because it directly affects their willingness to publicize this story!


CaptD October 2, 2013 at 9:24 am

The meeting was well attended by the public and the common theme was
You Broke it, You pay for it…

SCE and SDG&E need to pay for ALL expenses relating to the early shut down and decommissioning because they caused it to happen…

Now if the CPUC agrees with all the SoCal ratepayers, is yet another question because many Billions are at stake and the Utilities are very powerful politically, so many feel that the FIX is already in, with the CPUC!


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