SDG&E customers expected to save approximately $160 million
SAN DIEGO, January 31, 2018 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) executed a settlement agreement yesterday with Southern California Edison (SCE) and nearly a dozen interested parties which, if approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), would resolve the current inquiry into the retirement of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS).
The settlement would remove the remaining costs related to the SONGS closure from SDG&E customer bills. Under previously approved rate structures, customers would have incurred costs through January 2022. SDG&E estimates its customers will save approximately $160 million as a result of the proposed settlement.
“This settlement concludes the final chapter of the investigation into the original SONGS settlement and related events,” said Lee Schavrien, SDG&E’s chief regulatory officer.
In 2013, SCE, as the majority owner and operator of SONGS, closed the plant and began decommissioning activities.
The settlement comes after a multi-year investigation by the CPUC into the closure of SONGS and related costs. In 2014, the parties reached a settlement regarding the allocation of costs between the utilities and their customers, which was approved by the CPUC. After allegations of improper communications between SCE and the CPUC surfaced, however, the CPUC reopened the proceeding to investigate the claims and determine if the alleged communications impacted the previous settlement. No violations were alleged to have been committed by SDG&E and no penalties were assessed on SDG&E.
The newly proposed settlement was agreed upon by multiple parties actively involved in the CPUC proceedings including SDG&E, SCE, the Alliance for Nuclear Responsibility (A4NR), the California Large Energy Consumers Association (CLECA), California State University (CSU), Citizens Oversight/The Coalition to Decommission San Onofre (CDSO), the Coalition of California Utility Employees (CUE), the Direct Access Customer Coalition (DACC), Ruth Henricks, the Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA), The Utility Reform Network (TURN), and Women’s Energy Matters (WEM).
SDG&E and its parent company, Sempra Energy, issued a Form 8-K today with the Securities and Exchange Commission with details of the financial terms of the settlement agreement as well as a brief summary of a separate agreement entered into by SDG&E and SCE in which Edison has agreed to pay SDG&E for what SDG&E would have recovered from customers in the original 2014 settlement agreement. There can be no assurance that the CPUC will approve the proposed settlement agreement or not take other action adverse to SDG&E in connection with the closure of SONGS and related events.
SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides safe, reliable, clean energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company has been recognized by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for leadership in addressing climate change, was the first to meet California’s goal of delivering 33 percent of energy from renewable sources, has fueled the adoption of electric vehicles and energy efficiency through unique customer programs, and supports a number of non-profit partners. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.
This press release contains statements that are not historical fact and constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements can be identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "contemplates," "assumes," "depends," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "target," "pursue," "outlook," "maintain," or similar expressions or discussions of guidance, strategies, plans, goals, opportunities, projections, initiatives, objectives or intentions. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of performance. They involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. Future results may differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements.
Factors, among others, that could cause our actual results and future actions to differ materially from those described in any forward-looking statements include risks and uncertainties relating to: actions and the timing of actions, including decisions, new regulations, and issuances of permits and other authorizations by the California Public Utilities Commission, U.S. Department of Energy, California Division of Oil, Gas, and Geothermal Resources, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, states, cities and counties, and other regulatory and governmental bodies in the United States and other countries in which we operate; the timing and success of business development efforts and construction projects, including risks in obtaining or maintaining permits and other authorizations on a timely basis, risks in completing construction projects on schedule and on budget, and risks in obtaining the consent and participation of partners; the resolution of civil and criminal litigation and regulatory investigations; deviations from regulatory precedent or practice that result in a reallocation of benefits or burdens among shareholders and ratepayers; modifications of settlements; delays in, or disallowance or denial of, regulatory agency authorizations to recover costs in rates from customers (including with respect to regulatory assets associated with the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station facility and 2007 wildfires) or regulatory agency approval for projects required to enhance safety and reliability; the availability of electric power, natural gas and liquefied natural gas, and natural gas pipeline and storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the transmission grid, moratoriums or limitations on the withdrawal or injection of natural gas from or into storage facilities, and equipment failures; changes in energy markets; volatility in commodity prices; moves to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas; the impact on the value of our investment in natural gas storage and related assets from low natural gas prices, low volatility of natural gas prices and the inability to procure favorable long-term contracts for storage services; risks posed by actions of third parties who control the operations of our investments, and risks that our partners or counterparties will be unable or unwilling to fulfill their contractual commitments; weather conditions, natural disasters, accidents, equipment failures, computer system outages, explosions, terrorist attacks and other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities and systems, cause the release of greenhouse gases, radioactive materials and harmful emissions, cause wildfires and subject us to third-party liability for property damage or personal injuries, fines and penalties, some of which may not be covered by insurance (including costs in excess of applicable policy limits) or may be disputed by insurers or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of insurance; cybersecurity threats to the energy grid, storage and pipeline infrastructure, the information and systems used to operate our businesses and the confidentiality of our proprietary information and the personal information of our customers and employees; capital markets and economic conditions, including the availability of credit and the liquidity of our investments; fluctuations in inflation, interest and currency exchange rates and our ability to effectively hedge the risk of such fluctuations; the impact of changes in the tax code as a result of recent federal tax reform and uncertainty as to how certain of those changes may be applied, and our ability to mitigate such impacts; actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or to place those ratings on negative outlook; changes in foreign and domestic trade policies and laws, including border tariffs, revisions to favorable international trade agreements, and changes that make our exports less competitive or otherwise restrict our ability to export or resolve trade disputes; the ability to win competitively bid infrastructure projects against a number of strong and aggressive competitors; expropriation of assets by foreign governments and title and other property disputes; the impact on reliability of SDG&E’s electric transmission and distribution system due to increased amount and variability of power supply from renewable energy sources; the impact on competitive customer rates due to the growth in distributed and local power generation and the corresponding decrease in demand for power delivered through SDG&E’s electric transmission and distribution system and from possible departing retail load resulting from customers transferring to Direct Access and Community Choice Aggregation or other forms of distributed and local power generation, and the potential risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets and contractual obligations; and other uncertainties, some of which may be difficult to predict and are beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that Sempra Energy has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, and on the company's website at sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date hereof, and the company undertakes no obligation to update or revise these forecasts or projections or other forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
Sempra South American Utilities, Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra LNG & Midstream, Sempra Renewables, Sempra Mexico and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.B. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same as the California Utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company (SDG&E) or Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), and are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.