Opinion: SDG&E needs to focus on the ratepayers — not the shareholders

Re “SDG&E is asking for more. Could that backfire?” (March 12): Appreciate your illumination of the enormous compensation paid to utility executives, but two things are missing from this otherwise comprehensive article.

First, in 2022 Sempra Energy paid $1.4 billion to its shareholders. Sempra may tell us executive pay is paid by the shareholders. If true, I’d like to see a check they’ve written. Checks signed by ratepayers number in the millions.

Second, almost no mention (one sentence) of the real solution, competition. San Diego’s experience with community choice aggregators undercutting SDG&E’s pricing shows the value of competition. In other states where multiple providers are allowed, electrical rates are a fraction of what we pay. Executives and shareholders make a fraction of what SDG&E pays.

The California Public Utilities Commission is appointed by our politicians, who take contributions from the utilities, and staffed by them with industry yes-men. We can’t expect those appointees to limit their friends’ paychecks. Allowing competition is the real answer.

Todd Maddison

Re “SDG&E is asking for more. Could that backfire?” (March 12): I read this story with interest. It raises many questions such as back when the January natural gas price increase was announced, the same day the Wall Street Journal ran an article about natural gas prices plunging nationwide.

All the explanations for San Diego Gas & Electric’s high rates and how they are structured do not address the basic fact that nearly all other utilities nationwide operate at lower rates and now even the highest rates are not enough.

What are these people doing wrong?

Charles Riley
San Carlos

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