‘Power San Diego’ Wants Us to Fire SDG&E

by on November 7, 2023 · 4 comments

in Energy, Ocean Beach, San Diego

By Leorah Gavidor / San Diego Reader / Nov. 7, 2023

Many San Diegans already know: we pay the highest electricity rates of any metro area in the nation. That’s an average of 47.5 cents per kilowatt hour, compared to the national average of 17 cents. One in four San Diego residents is behind on their energy bill. Meanwhile, SDG&E paid its top executive $10 million in 2020, and its parent company Sempra Energy paid its CEO $23 million. Rates are set to rise again in 2024.

Non-profit Power San Diego wants the city to fire SDG&E. “We the people,” said campaign manager Dorrie Bruggemann, “should own the power lines and poles.” Power San Diego is working on a 2024 ballot measure so residents can vote on whether the city should create a municipal utility to own and operate city power poles and lines instead of SDG&E. Its main goal: lower rates by leveraging rooftop solar throughout the city.

“A municipal non-profit would eliminate corporate salaries and dividends for shareholders, so rates would be at least 20% lower,” said Adam Aron, volunteer for Power San Diego, at a presentation to the Barrio Logan community planning group on October 18. Cities with public utilities, like SMUD in Sacramento or LADWP in Los Angeles, pay much less: in LA the average is 28 cents per kilowatt hour, Sacramento 17 cents. A municipal energy non-profit would also not be subject to California Public Utilities Commission rules, which recently changed to make solar less lucrative for homeowners.

“A public power non-profit would be able to build local storage and leverage rooftop solar to generate power,” said Aron, “making supply cheaper by eliminating the need to transmit energy long distances”—one reason why we pay so much in San Diego.

As Aron made the case to Barrio Logan residents, Power San Diego was on the agenda at meetings in Kearny Mesa, Otay Mesa, Mission Valley, City Heights, Ocean Beach, and Linda Vista.

For the balance, please go here.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

chris schultz November 7, 2023 at 3:17 pm

On the surface, it sounds promising. But, if the city operates it, we know how mismanaged that is. Just look at water rates. Paying more for imported water while the Hodges dump went on.


Sam November 8, 2023 at 9:48 pm

If the city does operate it it doesn’t have to suck. LADWP runs just fine.


chris schultz November 9, 2023 at 7:32 am

Interesting read as it relates to San Diego being on its own island. Even at 20% savings, we’d still be twice Sacramento rates.



Will November 7, 2023 at 11:35 pm

Most expensive rates in US and a for-profit natural monopoly. I hope this change comes and I am glad the city did not sign another 50 year lease with SDG&E a few years ago.


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