News Release


DATE: August 28, 2000

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


Supervisors Vote To Pay Only Fair Share of Current Bill and To Seek Legislative Relief

San Diego - County supervisors today took action to help residents and business owners who have been shocked by monthly electric bills that have doubled or even tripled in recent weeks.

The Board voted to push for state legislation that would require the State, SDG&E, and others found responsible for the spiraling electric bills to pay the increased costs – rather than utility customers in San Diego County.

Initiated by Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Bill Horn, the Board also voted to pay this year's electric bills at the same rate the county paid in 1999. The board will reexamine the issue in November, and decide at that time whether to change or maintain the county's level of electric bill payment.

"To fully pay our bills, we could be forced to cut $9.3 million in County programs and services to make up for the gouging taking place," said Chairwoman Dianne Jacob of the Board of Supervisors. "We're only going to pay what's fair and those who made the mistakes should pay – not San Diego consumers."

At a Board conference today, experts testified about the failed electricity deregulation in California that is blamed for recent rate spikes, and possible solutions to the problem. The panel included Dave Rohy of the San Diego Regional Energy Office, Roger Bohn of UCSD, Veronica Smith of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (a state where electric deregulation also has occurred), Jodi Beebe of the Utility Consumers' Action Network, Robert Julian of the Power Procurement Group and Mathew Freedman of the Utility Reform Network.