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SDG&E Customers to Benefit from San Onofre Settlement

SDG&E Customers to Benefit from San Onofre SettlementGetty Images

San Diego Gas and Electric customers could get refunds after a settlement reached Thursday between the utility and consumer advocates over the shuttered San Onofre nuclear power plant.

Under the agreement, ratepayers would not be responsible for costs to replace faulty generators at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS) since the plant was taken offline after January 2012, according to the Utility Reform Network (TURN) and the Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA.)

According to TURN, SDG&E customers would receive $121 million in refunds by the end of 2014. Southern California Edison (SCE) ratepayers would receive $480 million.

Officials say the overall value of the deal to consumers would be $1.4 billion when other provisions are considered.

SDG&E and SCE have been negotiating with TURN and ORA over how to divide a long list of costs from the twin-domed plant. The question has been, who pays for costs from replacement power to investment in the now-closed reactors-- ratepayers or company shareholders?

In a news release from SDG&E, the utility says it will try to recover costs from the generators’ manufacturer, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd., and insurance companies.

SONGS has not produced power since January 2012 when a possible leak in a steam generator tube was detected.

The California Public Utilities Commission still needs to approve the settlement.