News Release


DATE: January 25, 2001

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



SAN DIEGO- The San Diego region's largest power provider is too rich to ask for a handout, San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said today. Jacob vowed to fight the utility's request to raise rates of San Diego consumers at an upcoming hearing before the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC).

"SDG&E will not force San Diegans to pay for the State's mistakes," said Jacob. "Innocent ratepayers did not create the deregulation debacle and innocent ratepayers should not be forced to pick up the tab," Jacob said.

Jacob has long been critical of the CPUC, the agency which monitors the state's retail energy prices. Jacob contends that the CPUC's primary responsibility is to control the price of retail electricity and shield San Diego ratepayers from the debt of the region's utility.

Jacob citied the 2000 earnings of SDG&E's parent company, Sempra Energy and the handsome salary of Sempra's chief executive officer as reasons to question the legitimacy of the rate hike.

Sempra Energy reported a 23% increase in revenues for the first nine months of 2000. The company's net income rose 16% to $334 million during the same period, according to Sempra's financial reports. In addition, the salaries of Sempra's top three executives total nearly four million dollars, according to the company.

"It's the generators who are bilking the state out of billions of dollars and it's the generators who should pay the price for the $500 million balancing account," Jacob said.

"Before SDG&E asks San Diego to foot the bill, it should ask its parents for a loan," she added.