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Customer Rate Cuts Go Into Effect From Final San Onofre Nuclear Plant Settlement
Written By: Jen Neville
August 31, 2018
Beginning immediately, Southern California Edison customers will see rate reductions reflected in their bills following the July 26 approval by the California Public Utilities Commission of a modified settlement resolving costs and what customers are owed associated with the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant.
“We have been on a path with an eye toward customer bill reductions for many months now,” stated SCE President Ron Nichols. “The settling parties had proposed the reductions eight months ago and we are gratified to see these now go into effect for our customers.”
Nichols added that there are two elements to the reduction in customer rates: a one-time refund of about $11 per average residential customer and $6 for an average customer participating in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) assistance program to offset revenues collected since last December; and a 2 percent reduction in rates going forward, which equals about $2 per month for an average residential customer and $1 for an average CARE customer. Rate reductions for non-residential customers will vary depending upon a number of factors.The total rate reductions under the approved settlement — $775 million of which $155 million is the refund amount — are in addition to the more than $2 billion in customer savings under the 2014 settlement that was modified by the commission’s July 26 action.
SCE retired San Onofre Units 2 and 3 in June 2013 after a contractor provided faulty steam generators. SCE is focused on safely decommissioning the nuclear plant, guided by core principles of safety, stewardship and engagement.
The settlement of issues and costs related to the closure of the San Onofre nuclear plant was finalized today when parties notified the California Public Utilities Commission that they accept the commission’s request that they remove a provision that would have funded university-conducted greenhouse gas research.
The action concludes the commission’s San Onofre proceeding and sets the stage for Southern California Edison, majority owner of San Onofre, to give customers rate reductions. The timing of the rate reductions depends on the commission’s review of SCE’s upcoming filing regarding the rate calculations.
“Today’s decision means we can begin delivering the benefits to customers that settling parties proposed seven months ago,” said SCE President Ron Nichols. “We’re pleased to bring closure to this issue following the diligent efforts over many months by the parties.”
Nichols said there are two elements to the reduction in customer rates: a one-time bill credit of about $11 per average residential customer; and a 2 percent monthly average bill reduction, which equals about $2 per month for an average residential customer. Rate reductions for non-residential customers will vary depending upon a number of factors. The changes are expected to be reflected in customer bills beginning in September.
The commission unanimously approved the settlement July 26, with the condition that the settling parties accept the deletion of the greenhouse gas provision. The settlement provides that customers of SCE and San Diego Gas & Electric, a co-owner of San Onofre, will no longer pay for the $775 million in San Onofre related investments that had not been recovered by the utilities.
The rate reductions under the settlement approved by the commission today are in addition to the more than $2 billion in customer savings under the prior settlement approved in 2014.
SCE retired San Onofre in June 2013 after a contractor provided faulty steam generators. SCE is focused on safely decommissioning the nuclear plant, guided by core principles of safety, stewardship and engagement. SCE has established a Community Engagement Panel to support those principles.