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State Approves 5 Percent Rate Hike for SoCal Edison

Customers' monthly electricity bills will increase an average of about $7 starting in early 2013.

State regulators on Thursday cleared Southern California Edison to raise electricity rates by 5 percent to cover the cost of providing "safe and reliable" electricity and integrating renewable energy sources.

"While today's decision results in a rate increase for SCE's ratepayers, this is a necessary investment in our future," said California Public Utilities Commissioner Mike Florio.

Edison estimated residential customers’ monthly bills will increase an average of about $7. The hike is retroactive to January of this year, but won't go into effect until early 2013.

The rate increase was shy of the 16.6 percent requested by the private utility.

The commission ordered Edison to try harder to cut costs, and the commission disallowed some of what it called "non- essential" projects. The ruling will force the utility to cut operations and maintenance expenses by about $258 million and spending on capital projects by $756 million.

CPUC Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon, who led the review, said the decision strikes a balance between the goals of the utility and protecting ratepayers.

"This decision ensures that SCE is able to invest in smart energy systems, renewables and safety and reliability while its ratepayers are protected under the CPUC's prudent review," Simon said.

The decision authorizes Edison to beef up equipment inspections and to use new technology to better track the condition and service record of the utility's assets. Regulators also ordered an independent review of SCE's system utility poles to determine whether current loads meet legal standards and an independent audit of SCE's spending on infrastructure repair and replacement.

The report by the CPUC addressed widespread criticism over Southern California Edison's response to a 2011 windstorm. The commission required SCE to the commission with a progress report next year on the utility's stated commitments to improve communications with customers during emergencies.

— Patch editor Jenna Chandler contributed to this report.

IAM November 30, 2012 at 04:35 PM
So, we don't get reliable service AND get an increase in monthly cost, RETROACTIVE to last year.
CulverCityNative November 30, 2012 at 04:44 PM
The average workers cost of living increase (pay check) is not keeping pace with the cost of "living". I know I have not gotten any sort of raise, nor have most of my friends, in years now. I, and the vast majority of my close friends, are educated and working in technology, advertising, finance, etc. We are truly slipping DOWN the social economic ladder. The middle class is disappearing, the rich getting richer, and the poor staying poor.
Johnny Utah November 30, 2012 at 06:50 PM
I didnt vote for obama, so don't blame me
stewart resmer November 30, 2012 at 08:16 PM
uhm Johnny? perhaps you missed 'State regulators on Thursday cleared Southern California Edison'... As in the Public Utilities Commisssion. News for california public utilities commission 89.3 KPCC Electricity rates to rise for Southern California Edison customers Los Angeles Times - 17 hours ago The California Public Utilities Commission approves three years of rate hikes for SCE customers, with the first adding an average of $7 a month ... The campaign season is over Johhny, but then fact checkers werent needed by the Romney campaign either huh?
Watts November 30, 2012 at 09:42 PM
I have no idea where you live that you do not get reliable electricity. I have lived in SoCal for 17 years in three different locations and the only time that I had a power outage was the result of some kids blowing up a transformer with an M80 and even then, we were only out for about 16 hours.
Watts November 30, 2012 at 09:43 PM
He is probably getting his info from Talk Radio, where everything is Obama's fault.
Passgo November 30, 2012 at 11:53 PM
You said it perfectly. That is exactly how it is now. Exactly. No raise here (cost of living raise) in 6 years. Soon, we will have to decide between paying the monthly mortgage or the monthly health insurance premium.
Walt Howells December 01, 2012 at 02:24 AM
Let's see $7.00 per average customer per month & retroactive back to January 2012 that's $84.00 I own them in back under charges. That's stupid, who in their right mind would buy something for a specific price and then told a year later it was going to cost them more retroactively. This is the whole problem with for profit utilities & health care companies, more more more and those idiots in Sacramento & Washingto D.C. keep allowing companies to become larger & larger with no competition or monoply with their goods or services.
Walt Howells December 01, 2012 at 07:30 AM
Edison asked for over 16% increase in increases to cover SONGS pant that has been off line for over a year. Does anyone remember WHO authorized this plant and holds them hamless through federal law to any effects of operating Nucular plants,just guess, the federal government that's right. But this for profit company wants the users to pay for their mistakes in construction & operation, what a joke!
CulverCityNative December 02, 2012 at 08:15 PM
Ah yes, it only takes a few post before someone goes political on us. Well, first off Obama has nothing to do with this, the lack of pay raises or the cost of electricity. And, since we've already started down this street, you would have wanted Mitt to win? So, you think things for the middle class would have gotten better under him? Really? Wow, you've showed your cards, and now we all know you're a fool.
April3100 December 02, 2012 at 11:36 PM
It's 5% so some of us are going to pay more than $84 for this past year. It feels like this should be illegal, but what choice do we have in this "free" country. I guess we're free to do without, or use solar.

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