News Release


DATE: July 10, 2001

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



SAN DIEGO - Residents in warmer regions of San Diego County are at an unfair disadvantage when it comes to the amount of electricity they are allocated under the current baseline rate structure, County Supervisor Dianne Jacob said today.

Nearly all of the region's ratepayers share the same summer baseline allowance of 249 kilowatt hours per month and Jacob charges that this allocation ignores significant temperature differences throughout the County. She is asking the County to take steps to change the region's baseline territories.

"Baseline allowances are supposed to reflect the consumption needs of a geographic area but in San Diego County it does not," Jacob said. "From Carlsbad to Julian the summer baseline allowance is the exactly the same even though the temperature can vary as much as 20 degrees from the coast to the Back Country," Jacob added.

Baseline allowances are used to calculate the bills of electric ratepayers. Electricity under the baseline allowance costs one amount while any usage greater than the baseline allowance is billed at a high, non-baseline rate.

The California Public Utilities Commission is responsible for setting the baseline quantities for a utility's service area. Beginning in August, the CPUC is set to evaluate the way in which it calculates baseline quantities. Under the Jacob proposal, the County would work in conjunction with the PUC to evaluate the data used to determine baseline allowances.

The baseline rate structure has been in place since 1984 and was originally designed to promote electric conservation and to keep costs under control.