SDG&E Speaks, Listens
Last updated 11/29/2018 at 10:03am
Carolyn Ortiz has been with SDG&E for 37 years, and she came to Borrego’s Library Community Room Nov. 14 to speak and to listen. She spoke to the issue of “Customer Programs and Solutions,” including the in’s and out’s of the company’s “Time of Use” changes. Customers spoke to their particular problems and issues, the most significant being extremely high electricity costs during our summer months.
For those proponents of “green” energy, that is, renewable energy sources – Solar electric and Solar thermal, wind, geothermal, and others – Ortiz said that SDG&E leads the nation’s utilities with the use of 43 percent renewable energy sources, not including 120,000 Solar customers. She also said that in 2019 the company will be participating in a program where all new construction must be fitted with Solar options.
There will also be a new pricing (tier) structure in place in 2019, including level pay plans to distribute costs over an entire year; for Borregans, however, the key issue was about summer electrical heating bills. For many Borregans, bills can easily double, triple, or even quadruple when temps rise to 110-120F for extended periods of extreme heat combined with high humidity where swamp coolers are useless. There are a lot of retirees who live full time in Borrego, and some need relief by medical necessity. Ortiz agreed that one can conserve only so much under intense conditions, and some in the audience felt that SDG&E was gouging customers at the very time the heat and humidity were affecting Borregans the most, while those in coastal or inland areas had natural relief. Ortiz promised to look into the matter with company officials, as well as the possibility of SDG&E making a pricing exception for Borregans during our hottest months, namely keeping charges at the lowest “baseline” rate.
One audience member questioned whether SDG&E was reducing voltage in Borrego to save energy, based on her own anecdotal experience and that of a neighbor) of appliances working, but not at full power and efficiency. Ortiz had not heard of this issue, and she said she’d look into it.
SDG&E has set up a non-emergency hotline: 211. If folks have questions or problems, the can also call 800-411-7343.