San Diego Suing SDG&E for $35 Million Over Unpaid Undergrounding Expenses

The city is suing San Diego Gas & Electric for what officials call the utility’s refusal to honor promises made when it obtained exclusive rights to provide gas and electricity to San Diegans in 1971.

As the city moves forward with its Pure Water San Diego Program, which will reduce ocean pollution and increase San Diego’s water supply, SDG&E has failed to relocate at its own expense its underground infrastructure that obstructs the city project, which it is required to do under the terms of its contract with the city, said City Attorney Mara Elliott, who made the announcement Wednesday.
In June 2018, the city says, SDG&E refused to undertake design and relocation work for Phase 1 of the program unless the city fronted the money.

“It’s unfortunate that a lawsuit is needed to compel our longtime partner to honor the terms of its contract with the city,” Elliott said. “Pure Water is critical to protecting the ocean from pollution and increasing our water independence. This program cannot be compromised by further delays.”

SDG&E communications manager Wes Jones said: “While we generally do not comment on pending litigation, broadly speaking, SDG&E does not believe the relocation costs of this City of San Diego water project should be spread to customers in the other cities within our service area. We look forward to resolving this matter as quickly as possible.”