New Report Finds Higher Energy Costs in San Diego Region Threaten Businesses, Households and Economic Competitiveness
National University System Report Calls for Policymakers to Take a "Pause" on Creating New Energy Policies in Order to Evaluate Costs and Impacts
Alison MacLeod, CALIFORNIANS FOR AFFORDABLE & RELIABLE ENERGY
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
“Rising energy costs are impacting San Diego from many different angles,” said Erik Bruvold, President of NUSIPR and author of the report. “Businesses must pay higher costs, which discourages investment; schools are diverting their limited resources to accommodate the rapid increase in their energy bills; and families are having to pay more for energy on top of already high housing costs, while real household income levels are flat or declining.”
According to the report, San Diegans already pay some of the highest electricity costs in the nation. Between 2000 and 2012 residential costs averaged 12% more per kilowatt hour for San Diego Gas & Electric customers than for customers of California’s other two investor-owned utilities. As of February 17, 2015, the statewide average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in California was 19.2% higher than the national average. San Diego’s gas prices have traditionally run slightly higher than the state average.
There are many factors that uniquely impact San Diego’s energy landscape including among others the location and availability of renewable resources, the lack of access to major hydropower, the closure of San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, permitting challenges for large infrastructure projects, preserving grid reliability as rooftop solar installations have become more popular, and a smaller customer base across which to spread out the costs of mandates and subsidies. State policies combined with regional characteristics have led to energy prices increasing much faster than other areas.