An independent survey of electric rates at 186 utilities nationwide shows that, for the first time in at least a decade, San Diego Gas & Electric's residential wintertime electric rates are lower than those charged by either Southern California Edison or Pacific Gas & Electric, the state's two other major utilities.
The survey was the second in a row to show that SDG&E no longer charges the highest residential electric rates among the state's three largest utilities. A survey of summertime rates conducted earlier this year by the National Assn. of Regulatory Utility Commissioners (NARUC) determined that SDG&E's electric rates had finally fallen below those charged by Edison and PG&E.
The association conducts rate surveys twice a year because electric rates usually vary in the summer and winter seasons.
The latest surveys were welcome news for SDG&E.
NARUC's 1987-1988 winter season survey, for example, showed that the San Diego utility had the nation's fifth-highest electric rates. That survey ranked Edison in 70th place, with PG&E in 94th place.
Last year's wintertime electric rate survey determined that SDG&E's rates were lower than Edison's but higher than PG&E's. PG&E serves the San Francisco Bay Area and much of Northern California.