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So Cal Edison Gets OK to Raise Rates

State regulators Thursday cleared Southern California Edison to raise electricity rates by 5 percent.

State regulators Thursday cleared Southern California Edison to raise electricity rates by 5 percent in order to cover the cost of providing "safe and reliable" electricity and integrating renewable energy sources.

The rate increase was shy of the 16.6 percent requested by the private utility.

The California Public Utilities Commission ordered Edison to try harder to cut costs, and the commission disallowed some of what it called "non- essential" projects. The ruling will force the utility to cut operations and maintenance expenses by about $258 million and spending on capital projects by $756 million.

CPUC Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon, who led the review, said the decision strikes a balance between the goals of the utility and protecting ratepayers.

"This decision ensures that SCE is able to invest in smart energy systems, renewables and safety and reliability while its ratepayers are protected under the CPUC's prudent review," Simon said.

The decision authorizes Edison to beef up equipment inspections and to use new technology to better track the condition and service record of the utility's assets. Regulators also ordered an independent review of SCE's system utility poles to determine whether current loads meet legal standards and an independent audit of SCE's spending on infrastructure repair and replacement.

The report by the CPUC addressed widespread criticism over Southern California Edison's response to a 2011 windstorm. The commission required SCE to the commission with a progress report next year on the utility's stated commitments to improve communications with customers during emergencies.

"While today's decision results in a rate increase for SCE's ratepayers, this is a necessary investment in our future.  We need to do a more thorough job in monitoring, maintaining, and replacing our aging electricity infrastructure. We also need to modernize and enhance our electricity system to better achieve the state's environmental policy goals," Commissioner Mike Florio said Thursday. "We will be vigilant to ensure that SCE will spend every penny wisely."

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gsuburban November 30, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Well now, tier 5 during the summer rate season cost's us .32 cents per kwH. A little bit of Googling shows that most other states are charging about .08 cents per kwH during the same season. Rural areas, such as those in Nevada or Idaho, would seem to be more expensive to provide power to customers miles away from each other and from transformers while, here in good ole Los Angeles County, it is so dense that providing power would be similar to an assembly line or, much cheaper to provide power to. Plus, large amounts of power is considered bulk and bulk purchases usually come with huge discounts to the purchaser however, those savings are not passed onto us, instead they say we are wasting power or using it at the wrong time of day. Okay, when it's hot outside, would that be the wrong time to turn on the air conditioner? Continued:
gsuburban November 30, 2012 at 06:51 PM
The C.P.U.C. commission appears to simply "rubber stamp" just about every rate increase request SCE submits. Any of you that open your bill each and almost every month probably notice the one or two and sometimes three little notices included in the envelope, rate increase requests. There was one in the past for "recovery" funds for the damages caused by local fire storms! Amazing, no other business would have the gall to demand its customers to pay for casualty losses it sustained. Usually, that is covered by insurance or absorbed. Cont:
gsuburban November 30, 2012 at 06:52 PM
On another note, those who choose to opt out of the new wireless meters and go back to the dial type now have to pay much more monthly "fee's", around $290 per year, plus a service call fee of $98. Reason, They have to send a meter reader! I have news, the older meters had wireless reporting inside so a truck could drive down the street and collect all the monthly readings. We didn't pay extra at that time and since the new meters are out, we haven't be getting anything cheaper since SCE says it saves them money while the old ones didn't. Many folks don't want their hourly electricity usage data given away as it's private and personal. I agree and likely, all that will occur in the future is engineering methods developed to force the customary use (time of day and amount) of power adverse to when we customers need it. Example, it's 105 degrees one day and SCE says, "Sorry, we have to charge you 5 times if you need power for cooling but, if you run your a/c when you don't really need it, we'll sell it to you for the usual rate. Hello? Do you think CALISO sells them power that way? If they do, then CALISO is just another scam to say "Everyone wants power right now, its 105 degrees so guess what, it's going to be 5 times the amount" until the demand is lowered. Cont:
gsuburban November 30, 2012 at 06:52 PM
Apparently, we seem to misunderstand that theory, customers use power when it's necessary yet the supply (dams and power generators) have no idea how hot it is. Capacity of power production is simply being "marketed" rather than allowing it to flow as "needed" for the fair and reasonable fee's the C.P.U.C. is supposed to regulate for customers. Seems that the C.P.U.C. always approves increases while SCE continues to rake in billions of unnecessary profits !
Sandy Anderson December 01, 2012 at 01:50 AM
I agree with everything above... but what about San Onofre? We're paying surcharges to run/maintain it aren't we? And isn't there some kind of "rule" that when it's down for more than so many months Edison has to rebate or stop charging us for it????? When is THAT happening?

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