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SDG&E ratepayers expected to share in benefits from $750 million settlement from Canadian power company

Sunday, August 18th, 2013
Issue 33, Volume 17.

SAN DIEGO - San Diego Gas & Electric Co. ratepayers are expected to share benefits from a $750 million settlement from a Canadian government power company that reportedly drove up electricity prices in California for than a decade, it was reported today.

Powerex, the electricity trading subsidiary of BC Hydro, will pay $273 million in cash and offer California electric utilities a credit worth $477 million to settle claims of allegations that it help inflate the California power market during the state's electricity market crisis of 2000 and 2001.

BC Hydro is a "crown corporation" owned by the province of British Columbia, and the settlement with California will cost ratepayers and possibly taxpayers there, the Vancouver Sun newspaper reported today.

Powerex CEO Teresa Conway denied California allegations that the prices were inflated, asserted to the Vancouver Sun that Powerex had not done anything wrong, and said the matter was always a trade dispute.

"It was determined that the market was broken and that sellers into that market, all 60 sellers, would have to pay market wide refunds," Conway told the newspaper. Advertisement
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"We have chosen legal and financial certainty over the continuing of a protracted and costly dispute."

The settlement-is subject to the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's approval, and was made with California utility companies, the California Attorney General and other parties to resolve the claims, the newspaper reported. To date, 47 sellers have made separate settlements with parties in California.

In a statement released Friday, California Attorney General Kamala Harris said that the settlement brings long-awaited compensation to California ratepayers for Powerex's conduct. Harris alleged that Powerex engaged in market gaming by purchasing and exporting to Canada huge quantities of electricity California needed, and selling it back to California at exorbitant prices.

"Californians suffered through huge rate hikes and blackouts during the energy crisis," she said, in the statement. "This settlement brings long-awaited compensation to California ratepayers for Powerex's conduct."

The money will go to the state's general fund as well as customers of SDG&E, Southern California Edison and PG&E in central and northern California.

Municipal utilities such as the L.A. DWP were not overcharged in the original deal.



Comment Profile ImageFallbrook res.
Comment #1 | Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 10:21 am
This would be nice.
Comment Profile ImageOMG
Comment #2 | Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 2:09 pm
Believe it when I see it.
Comment Profile ImageSDG&E Victim
Comment #3 | Sunday, Aug 18, 2013 at 4:38 pm
For years we've been abused and in one month are going to fall prey to one of the biggest rate increases in history! Why doesn't all of this settlement go back to those folks who were scammed to pay for our losses and offset the upcoming bogus increases? Why should a dime of this go into the general fund to pay for more dimwitted programs and greedy benefit & pension packages? Like OMG above I'll believe it when I see it in my bill.
Comment Profile ImageSDG&E Payer
Comment #4 | Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 7:21 am
So how much will each of us get? Will it be measured in dollars or cents? Obviously not sense!!!
Comment Profile ImageS
Comment #5 | Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 8:07 am
"The money will go to the state's general fund as well as customers of SDG&E, Southern California Edison and PG&E in central and northern California".

Not sure any southern California payments are in the works.
Comment Profile ImageLee
Comment #6 | Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 8:51 am
Folks, for those of you who, several decades ago, were hoodwinked into and shouted for a concept called deregulation, THESE are the results of this paradigm: greed, corruption, abuse of power, socialism, communism (take your pick), theft, a COMPLETE disregard for democracy, monopolism, you-name-it.

Welcome to the abuse and, shall we say, "virtues" of free-market capitalism! A few people got rich; the rest of us, WE, THE PEOPLE, got screwed.
Comment Profile ImageFR86
Comment #7 | Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 9:32 am
I suspect that the San Onofre shutdown was a planned action to leverage SDG&E plot to setup other profit making actions and continue rate increases. Folks, California and particularly Southern California will soon be the most expensive place to live in US due to Utilities and Taxes ....................and our so called leaders have done nothing to prevent it. We just keep electing the Boxers, Feinsteins and Browns and expect something to change....................that's defined as insanity
Comment Profile ImageMom of lots
Comment #8 | Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 12:55 pm
Um, ya. Right.
Comment Profile ImagePink
Comment #9 | Monday, Aug 19, 2013 at 1:45 pm
I don't think San Onofre was shut down by SDG&E, it was shut down by left wing, out of control nut jobs like Senator Boxer. SDG&E however, isn't letting any grass grow under their feet. They will make a huge profit on the shutdown and the only people who will suffer are the rate payers and all the people who worked at San Onofre, who lost their jobs. Welcome to California.
Comment Profile ImageLee
Comment #10 | Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 1:21 pm
@ #10 CPUC

I have just skimmed over your link, and the article states the EXACT SAME reasons I mentioned up above (#6) as to why all of this is happening. So, what on earth, is your point as to why I am wrong?

Holy cow.

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Fallbrook Village News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.


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