Woman wants hearing on SDG&E wildfire costs

By Karen Brainard

Ramona resident and Mussey Grade Road Alliance spokesperson Diane Conklin is asking regulators to hold a public hearing regarding San Diego Gas & Electric’s proposal to raise rates to pay for wildfire costs that were not covered by the utility’s insurance.

Those costs from the 2007 wildfires would total around $475 million and include amounts spent on litigation, said Conklin.

Conklin and her husband, Joe, attended SDG&E’s evidentiary hearings regarding the recovery costs with the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) Jan. 11 to 13 in San Francisco.

“This is asking ratepayers to pay for uninsured costs of wildfires,” Conklin said. “Our point is that if you indemnify them in terms of uninsured costs, then what is the incentive for them to run a safe system?”

Conklin wants the CPUC to conduct at least one public hearing in the San Diego area so SDG&E customers have their say.

“This is a huge story. It so affects Ramona,” she said.

Conklin is requesting the commission rule on the public participation hearing by Feb. 1 and had the following statement for ratepayers: “Please make a phone call to Commissioner (Timothy) Simon’s office, 415-703-1407. Tell the person who answers that you are from San Diego and you want a public meeting on the issue of ratepayers paying a half billion dollars on the 2007 fires and potentially hundreds of millions more in future fires.”

   
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