News Release


DATE: August 29, 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

Sacramento, CA -- Joined with local leaders, Chairwoman Dianne Jacob and Supervisor Bill Horn once again today called on the State legislature to ensure that San Diego ratepayers be held harmless for electricity overcharges and to appropriate at least $300 million for this purpose.

"This is a litmus test for the legislature and the Governor," said Jacob. "If these 121 legislators can't solve this disaster for the 3 million people in San Diego, how will they solve it for the more than 30 million statewide?" she added.

Jacob and Horn traveled to Sacramento to reiterate the Board of Supervisors' position. On July 25 and August 17, 2000 the Board voted unanimously to support the establishment of a rate cap to the July 1, 1999 level (3.2 cents per kilowatt hour), apply the cap to all customer classes, make the cap retroactive to June 1, 2000 and hold San Diego consumers harmless for the overcharges.

So far, the proposals being discussed by both Democrats and Republicans are unacceptable and do not meet the Board's test. Those officials present called for immediate action on AB 2290 with an amendment that guarantees San Diego ratepayers will be held harmless for the overcharges. This amendment is necessary based on observations that certain legislators and the Governor are more interested in protecting SDG&E and the utility companies than San Diego ratepayers.

"The legislature created this problem and any future balloon payments on the backs of San Diegans' before or after the November election "are unacceptable and unfair," said Supervisor Bill Horn.

Noting the proliferation of power company lobbyists filling the halls and offices of legislators, the Supervisors stated, "This is a David and Goliath battle and it's clear that the interests of the power companies are being placed above those of San Diego consumers."

Since this May, San Diego County residents and businesses electric bills have increased from 3.2 cents per kilowatt hour to over 19 cents per kilowatt hour, putting a $75 - $100 million monthly drain on the San Diego economy. Also present today were Councilman George Stevens from the City of San Diego and David Van Ommering from the San Diego County Farm Bureau. Former Mayor Maureen O'Connor, the Healthcare Association and Hispanic Chamber sent letters supporting the Supervisors' position.