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SoCal Edison approved for 5 percent rate hike

Power company asked for 16 percent

SAN FRANCISCO • The California Public Utilities Commission approved a 5 percent rate increase for Southern California Edison customers Thursday.

The electricity company requested a 16.6 percent increase to cover the costs of “providing safe and reliable electrical services” but was only approved for 5.04 percent, according to a CPUC press release. The date for when the increases will take effect is yet to be announced. The CPUC said it holds safety, reliability and just and reasonable rates as the basis of its review, according to the press release.

“While today’s decision results in a rate increase for SCE’s ratepayers, this is a necessary investment in our future,” CPUC Commissioner Mike Florio said in a statement. “We need to do a more thorough job in monitoring, maintaining and replacing our aging electricity infrastructure. We also need to modernize and enhance our electricity system to better achieve the state’s environmental policy goals. We will be vigilant to ensure that SCE will spend every penny wisely.”

According to the press release, the decision imposes belt tightening on SCE, including more efforts at cost-effectiveness, slower implementation of some activities and disallowance of non-essential costs and projects. The approval authorizes $5.671 billion base revenue requirement for 2012 and is a 9.9 percent reduction from the 2012 revenue requirement requested by SCE of $6.294 billion.

“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,” Commissioner Timothy Alan Simon, the lead Commissioner in the proceeding, said in a statement. “The decision strikes a fine balance in attaining this common goal between the utility and its ratepayers.”

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