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City Claims SCE Owes It $8.5 Million

November 22, 2001|Bloomberg News

Southern California Edison hasn't paid $8.5 million owed since last December to the city of Riverside for providing electricity services, according to a lawsuit.

Riverside operates its own municipal utility and relies on Edison's transmission facilities to receive power from generators outside the city.

The city's suit claims Edison breached an agreement to reimburse it for so-called ancillary services, which ensure electricity is delivered reliably, since December. Edison paid the bills from July 1998 until November 2000, then disputed and refused to pay the invoices, said the suit filed Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

The suit comes with Southern California Edison insolvent after accruing $3.3 billion in losses buying power for more than it was allowed to charge customers. Last month, Edison and the state Public Utilities Commission reached an agreement for the utility to pay its debts and avoid bankruptcy.

After the start of energy deregulation in California, Edison determined that it no longer would be profitable for it to provide the reserve power services to Riverside, the suit claims. Edison reached an agreement in 1998 with the city to bill the company for the reserves it provides through its own municipal utility, according to the lawsuit.

Edison spokesman Gil Alexander said he had not seen the lawsuit and declined to comment.

Shares of parent Edison International fell 45 cents to $14.41 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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