News Release


DATE: August 2, 2000

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108


Asks CPUC for retroactive freeze to pre-deregulation rates

San Diego - With electricity rates skyrocketing and no end in sight, Chairwoman Dianne Jacob will travel today to San Francisco to ask the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to immediately put in place a retroactive rate freeze to the July 1, 1999 pre-deregulation level.

"I am hopeful that the CPUC will hear San Diego's pleas for help," said Jacob. "A retroactive rate freeze will immediately provide San Diego consumers the temporary relief needed while we figure out long-term solutions to this complex problem," she added.

While in the Bay area, Jacob will also join former Mayor of San Diego, Maureen O'Connor, for a meeting with Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco and Mayor Jerry Brown of Oakland to discuss electricity rate impacts and possible solutions. O'Connor and Jacob will urge that the Cities of San Francisco and Oakland join forces with San Diego in asking for an immediate rollback of electricity rates.

"People are suffering! Businesses are hurting! We need help and we need it now," said Jacob.

The freeze would roll back rates to approximately 2.9 cents per kilowatt-hour, giving San Diego residents the same stability as the rest of California consumers. Of the 58 counties, San Diego is the only county in the state where the rate freeze was lifted. Jacob's freeze would be in affect until a permanent solution is put into place.

On July 25, the Board of Supervisors unanimously approved Chairwoman Jacob's proposal declaring a State of Emergency for San Diego County consumers. At that time, the Board also called for a retroactive rate freeze, agreed to hold a public conference to develop an action plan to reduce rates, called on the State legislature to hold special hearings to discuss electricity rates, directed the County's Sacramento legislative representative to make electricity rates their top priority, asked for federal assistance for customers and for a federal investigation into the rate hike, and asked the Independent Systems Operator to impose a more stringent price cap on wholesale rates.

Jacob will also attend a press conference at 9:30 a.m. prior to the 10:00 a.m. CPUC meeting on August 3, 2000.