In a move that affects southern Orange County, the state Public Utilities Commission on Tuesday ordered San Diego Gas & Electric Co. to cut electricity rates Jan. 1, reducing its revenues by a record $141.2 million a year. The move will help commercial and industrial users more than residential customers.
The rate decrease announced in San Francisco will push SDG&E's average electricity rate to its lowest point since 1981, the utility said Tuesday.
The new rates, which were tied to falling fuel prices, will reduce a "typical" SDG&E residential gas and electric bill (based on the monthly use of 400 kilowatt hours of electricity and 40 therms of natural gas) by 3.1%, to $60.17 from $62.07.
SDG&E'S typical combined electric and gas bill hit a record high $72.75 per month in 1983.
However, residential electric bills for about 5% of SDG&E's 1 million residential customers--who use little electricity relative to national figures--will increase slightly on Jan. 1 because commissioners also authorized SDG&E to collect a flat $4.80 monthly fee that will help the utility cover the cost of generating electricity.
SDG&E serves about 60,000 Orange County customers in San Clemente, San Juan Capistrano, Dana Point, South Laguna, Capistrano Beach and parts of Saddleback Valley.