Power lines
Power lines rise above homes in the Talmadge neighborhood / Photo by Sam Hodgson

Residents in five major San Diego cities will soon begin buying their energy from San Diego Community Power, a new publicly-run operation.

The new public power company has promised San Diego residents that its energy will be cleaner and cheaper than its competitor, San Diego Gas and Electric, an investor-owned utility that’s been the sole provider of power in the region for over a century. 

But a major cost is standing in the way, writes Voice of San Diego’s MacKenzie Elmer. That’s the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment, often referred to as an “exit fee” — a cost placed on customers who automatically leave SDG&E for a public power agency.  

SDG&E says it’s mandated by state law and regulators. 

In truth, all customers — be it SDG&E or San Diego Community Power, or the other public power agency in San Diego called Clean Energy Alliance — pay it.  

“The difference is (San Diego Community Power) customers don’t get any benefit from those resources,” said Laura Fernandez, director of regulatory and legislative affairs at San Diego Community Power. 

What she means is, San Diego Community Power wants its customers to only be on the hook for power their company buys. But public power agencies have no control over this extra charge, and it accounts for a significant portion of the rate San Diego Community Power customers pay.  

Read more from Elmer here.

Tijuana Sewage Fix Makes President’s Budget

San Diego and California lawmakers have been trying for over a year now to get one pesky but crucial piece of legislation passed so $300 million from Congress can be spent on stopping more sewage from spilling over the U.S.-Mexico border. 

Political deadlock in the U.S. Senate has stalled it, and now that little piece of traveling legislation has made a new appearance: in President Joe Biden’s budget proposal for 2023 which dropped Monday. 

Originally, the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement, the source of the $300 million, gave that money to the Environmental Protection Agency, which took the lead on deciding what projects should be built at the border to prevent pollution. And now the region needs legislation to move that money from the EPA to the International and Boundary Water Commission, which operates the sewage treatment plant at the border. 

So, why wasn’t the money given to IBWC in the first place? 

Read the Environment Report here.

In Other News

This Morning Report was written by MacKenzie Elmer and Tigist Layne. It was edited by Megan Wood.

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