View Mobile Site

Manteca, Ripon & Escalon say ‘yes’ to SSJID, ‘no’ to PG&E

Text Size: Small Large Medium
POSTED February 3, 2010 3:10 a.m.
Two years ago PG&E was able to garner support among elected leaders in Manteca, Ripon, and Escalon to thwart South San Joaquin Irrigation District efforts to gain official council support of SSJID’s efforts to enter the retail power business.

At least four rate increases later, elected leaders in all three cities have now passed resolutions supporting SSJID’s bid to enter into retail power by taking over the local PG&E system serving the three communities with a target of reducing rates at least 15 percent across the board.

Escalon Monday night became the final city to jump on board at the same time PG&E is advancing the biggest rate increase in its history - $1.011 billion – to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2011.

If you’re a typical PG&E customer using 850 kilowatt hours per month that translates into a possible $17.44 jump in your power bill on Jan. 1, 2011.

And, if you use 40 therms of natural gas each month, the rate hike proposal will add $3.15 a month or 5.7 percent more to your natural gas bill. That means if PG&E is granted everything they want, you will be sending PG&E and additional $20.59 more a month in 2011 on top of what you’re paying now.

You could still see more rate increases before 2011 as the request only covers the cost of delivering electricity to customers and the cost of operating PG&E power plants. It does not include the cost of electricity that PG&E purchases to resell to customers as such costs are recovered in separate rate proceedings.

SSJID General Manager Jeff Shields said he believes the key difference was the district taking more time to provide information and explain what they are doing.
“It’s not just 15 percent less in power costs to homes, farms, and businesses but to city operations, schools, street lights – everything,” Shields said.

In Manteca alone, the 15 percent reduction would save at least $165,000 a year of operating expenses at the wastewater treatment plant alone.

At the same time, SSJID will continue to pay the three cities franchise fees. And in each case not only will they keep the cities whole when it comes to what PG&E is paying them but they will increase the percentage as well that is paid to cities. That means Manteca – that received $495,000 from PG&E last fiscal year based on the amount of electricity sold within the city limits – would have received that from SSJID plus more.

SSJID currently has an application at the San Joaquin County Local Agency Formation Commission for approval to enter the retail power business.

It was virtually a unanimous decision of all 15 elected council members. The only exception was Ripon Councilman Chuck Winn who abstained when the SSJID and PG&E issue was before his council due to a conflict of interest.
Commenting is not available.

Commenting not available.

Please wait ...