Yesterday on the KPBS TV newsmagazine, Full Focus, I interviewed a rep from SDG&E and a critic of the proposed Sunrise Powerlink about the utility’s planned 150-mile transmission line in San Diego’s desert and backcountry areas extending into part of the north county.

The purpose of the 10-minute television segment was to look into the change in savings projected for electricity customers.

The original proposal predicted more than $400 million in savings annually. Then a few days ago, it dropped to around $85 million. On Tuesday, the figure rose to about $250 million. Unfortunately, the conversation veered into other areas and I never got a really complete response to that fluid figure. But here’s one number that I could hang on to.

When I asked Jim Avery, an exec with the power company, what those savings would translate into for the ratepayers, his answer was a clear 8 percent.

Now that’s something solid, especially if we are in for a winter season of cold snaps or a summer of steamy weather.

On a $100 bill, you apparently could see it drop to $92. For opponents to the towers and lines that would be strung along the landscape, that savings might not convince them to support the Powerlink.

Both sides can have their say before the State Public Utilities Commission and a federal agency next week when eight public meetings will be held. A visit to the PUC web site will provide times and locations.


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