TURN to Demand Immediate Rate Reductions for SONGS Debacle

CPUC Investigation Kicks Off Tomorrow

For Immediate Release From The Utility Reform Network

In the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC) investigation into the mounting costs of Southern California Edison’s downed San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) power plant, TURN will be demanding that Edison not be allowed to pass any costs related to defective parts or replacement power to their customers.  A pre-hearing conference in the case will be held at the CPUC on January 8.

SONGS, located on the coast south of San Clemente, went offline in January 2012, after water leaks in Unit 3’s steam generator tubes were detected. It has since been revealed that hundreds of other steam tubes are also defective. 

Rising costs for SONGS replacement power come on top of the roughly $115 million Edison has already collected from ratepayers for defective steam generators installed since 2010, $46 million of which went to shareholder profits. In a January 4th filing at the CPUC, Edison proposed that ratepayers continue to pay the full costs plus profits for the failing steam generators and the rest of the inoperable plant until at least mid-2015—regardless of whether the facility ever comes back into service.

 TURN will urge the Commission to reject this approach and instead provide immediate rate reductions to compensate customers for the mistakes made by Edison and its contractors.

“The Commission must ensure that ratepayers are not responsible for the mistakes made by Edison.  It is completely inappropriate for the Commission to delay a final decision on any rate reductions until 2015 while allowing Edison to charge its customers for a facility that is failing due to negligence and mismanagement by Edison and its contractors.” said TURN staff attorney Matt Freedman.  “Edison’s proposal is designed to allow the company to bilk ratepayers for years without any accountability or consequences.  Ratepayers should not pay a single cent for costs incurred by Edison to own any inoperable nuclear plants.”