Analysis reveals CA investor owned gas utilities hiked pandemic rates as revenue rose



By Dan Bacher | 

acramento, CA – California investor-owned gas utilities including SoCalGas — the company responsible for the disastrous 2015 Aliso Canyon Gas Blowout — were charging customers 53.9 percent more even as their companies saw revenue rise, according to a new analysis by environmental watchdog Food & Water Watch.  

SoCalGas, PG&E, and San Diego Gas and Electric Company all saw revenue increases in 2020 compared to 2019 (the year before the pandemic hit), the group reported.

“Between 2019 and 2020, SoCalGas saw revenue rise from $4.5 billion to $4.7 billion,” the group stated. “When 2021 numbers are released, the company is expected to come close to $5 billion. While fourth quarter revenue has not been disclosed yet, both SoCalGas and San Diego are predicted to meet or exceed their 2020 revenue in 2021.” 

SoCalGas currently faces $10 million in state-sanctioned fines for using customer money to lobby against climate change solutions.

“SoCalGas cannot be trusted to protect its ratepayers or the communities threatened by the buildout of toxic gas infrastructure,” said Food & Water Watch’s California Director Alexandra Nagy. “While SoCalGas’ revenue rose, the company charged customers exponentially higher rates during the pandemic.”

“This is a utility whose record includes the disastrous blowout at Aliso Canyon, myriad methane leaks, and improper use of ratepayer funds. Communities across California deserve equitable access to clean energy. They shouldn’t have to sacrifice their health or savings to pad SoCalGas’ bottom line,” said Nagy.

“We’ve known that SoCalGas will sacrifice communities for profit,” said Liz Campos, member of the Westside Clean Air Coalition and Chair of the Westside Community Council. “We didn’t know that while our neighborhood was being poisoned our rates were skyrocketing not because of inflation but because SoCalGas wanted to increase their profits.”

“This company is emboldened by greed and unmoved by human suffering. We demand that Governor Newsom send SoCalGas a message and shut down the toxic infrastructure in Aliso Canyon, Playa Del Rey and Ventura that is threatening our communities,” Campos concluded.


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