SDG&E Under Investigation for Lobbying
Last updated 3/6/2017 at 9:14am
The California Public Utilities Commission, has confirmed that it is investigating San Diego Gas & Electric for potentially violating a state law on lobbying. Community choice, the alternative energy program, would allow cities and counties to bypass SDG&E, allowing them to make their own choices as to where they buy their energy.
State law prevents utilities from marketing or lobbying on community choice aggregation unless they set up an independent organization that is not funded by ratepayers. SDG&E deny any wrong doing despite representatives from Sempra Services speaking about community choice at a public meeting last month.
SDG&E's parent company, Sempra Energy, set up Sempra services as an independent organization. The state has yet to approve the organization and due to representatives actions, the California Public Utilities Commission has decided to investigate.
"SDG&E is not in compliance with the California Public Utilities Commission Resolution allowing them to form an Independent Marketing Division with conditions and consequently may not be participating in lobbying activities that could only be performed by the marketing division." stated a spokeswoman for the commission. "SDG&E attorneys have argued that under their particular reading of the Resolution they are allowed to lobby," she said. "The California Public Utilities Commission is investigating the facts surrounding their community choice-related communications."