While the cost of common household goods like bread and milk increased 77 and 50 percent, respectively, from 1985 to 1995, the average residential electricity bill for customers of San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E) dropped 13.6 percent over the same period, according to San Diego Chamber of Commerce statistics.
That trend shows no sign of abating. In fact, low rates are fast becoming a staple for the utility's 1.2 million electric customers.
On June 10, SDG&E served up a $35-million rebate and an electric rate decrease of $22 million, carving 2.1 percent off the typical residential customer's monthly bill. The rate cut trims SDG&E's system average electricity rate to 9.64 cents per kilowatt-hour (¢/Kwh), as compared to 10.1¢ and 9.91¢/Kwh, respectively, for neighboring utilities Southern California Edison Co. and Pacific Gas and Electric Co.
Not surprisingly, SDG&E ranks as the state's lowest-cost investor-owned utility for the eighth year in a row.
According to Donald E. Feslinger, president and chief executive officer, the utility's secret recipe combines low-cost fuel and power. To garner the lowest prices, SDG&E purchases 60 percent of its electricity on a real-time basis from various Western suppliers as well as from Mexico. t
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