Stopping SDG&E’s Disastrous Solar-Killing Rate Changes
Carl DeMaio - November 9, 2011
A freight train is heading on a collision course with San Diego’s growing clean energy sector, but most San Diegans don’t even know about it.
San Diego Gas & Electric is currently asking the California Public Utilities Commission to allow drastic and sweeping changes to San Diego’s electricity rate structure.
The reason: Because of San Diego’s success as a solar energy leader (currently first in the state when it comes to solar technology installation), the utility giant has seen more and more customers “going off the grid” and relying on solar-generated power. In an attempt to secure future revenue, a rate structure has been proposed which will require a much larger set cost and less reliance on volume-determined billing. These changes will be disastrous.
At my most recent “Pathway to Prosperity” Job Creation Forum, which featured many leaders in the CleanTech industry, the question was asked: “Why aren’t there solar panels on every residence, business, school, and government facility in San Diego?” The simple answer: Cost. For years solar power was too cost-prohibitive for most individuals. Fortunately, this has started to change with increased incentives and financing available for solar technology.
Unfortunately, this progress will come to a screeching halt if SDG&E’s new rate structure is implemented. Leaders in the solar industry have pointed out that not only will San Diego’s leadership in clean technologies end; it will strike a deadly blow to the producers of these new technologies. Just when we should be doing everything possible to create new, high-paying jobs, this proposal could put many solar companies out of business or send them elsewhere. We cannot let that happen.
The good news: The City Attorney’s office has filed a protest letter with the Public Utilities Commission explaining how costly these rate changes will be. I am encouraging every SDG&E customer, elected official, and those in the CleanTech industry to join with me in protesting these rate changes with the PUC as well.
Additionally, I am asking SDG&E to avoid that fight and immediately withdraw this proposal by going back to the drawing board. Let’s get the stakeholders in the room and come up with a rate structure that won’t drive this important industry into the ground.
San Diego is quickly becoming the “CleanTech Capital of the Nation.” If this public utility is allowed to proceed with these rate changes, all of that hope and progress will be derailed.Comments
I wanted to alert you to a very troubling and sad situation being faced by two families in San Diego – and to ask that you consider helping in their time of need.
Linda Jensen and her son run Centre City Coffee – a little coffee cart outside City Hall. Pete Soto and his wife run Brooklyn Dogs – a hot dog and lunch cart also outside City Hall.
These hard-working small business owners have seen their family’s income decimated by the lawless Occupy San Diego protestors who have created such deplorable conditions around their carts that customers have fled. Event worse, both families have been harassed and have received threats.
My office is helping sponsor a fundraising benefit for both families on Monday, November 7 at 6pm at 6:00 PM at Downtown Johnny Brown's at 1220 Third Ave. San Diego, CA. 92101
Can you please consider helping these two families with a small donation?
If you're unable to make it and would still like to help please mail donations to my office at 202 "C" Street, 10th Floor, San Diego, CA. 92101.
KUSI recently ran a segment on their plight that is heartbreaking. You can view that video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFgdVnSI4Tc
Please consider helping in any way you can. These two families need our support!
SAN DIEGO – City Councilmember Carl DeMaio took part in the groundbreaking of a new 248,882 square foot regional FBI field office. The new field office will house over 500 agents and staff that will bring increased Law Enforcement resources to San Diego communities.
DeMaio’s office played a key role in resolving development disputes that threatened to derail the project – and cost San Diego much-needed construction jobs.
“After working hard to get this facility in San Diego, I am proud we are able to get construction underway. This building will provide local San Diego Law Enforcement with the facilities they need to better protect residents,” noted DeMaio.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Keith Slotter commented, "The men and women of the FBI are looking forward to moving into our new building. It has been designed to provide us with the infrastructure and space needed to support the FBI's intelligence and investigative mission. We are currently located in six leased facilities in San Diego which are incapable of supporting new functions and do not meet enhanced IT and security requirements. This new building will consolidate our resources to facilitate both an efficient working environment and provide us with state of the art capabilities needed to meet the needs of the FBI's intelligence and law enforcement activities."
“We are proud to work with the GSA and FBI to create a place for the men and women who work and serve in law enforcement and intelligence to do their jobs in the most effective manner possible,” states Richard Worthington, president of The Molasky Group of Companies. “Additionally, we are very excited to be part of the San Diego business community with the new FBI Divisional Offices. This is an opportunity to spark an economic engine that creates jobs, brings new business to local vendors and suppliers, and initiates new tax revenues for the city and state, at a time it is most needed."Comments
I am excited to announce that the "Fair and Open Competition Ordinance," which I have supported since it was first envisioned, qualified yesterday for the June 2012 Primary Election ballot. This measure will bar the City of San Diego from entering into union-only construction contracts in the future, or "project labor agreements" (PLAs).
PLAs keep non-union companies from bidding on contracts, drive up the cost of development projects, and shut out non-union contractors from jobs in San Diego. Getting this measure on the ballot is a vital step forward to make San Diego an even playing field for all businesses.
The measure is supported by the Associated Builders & Contractors of San Diego, Inc. and the Associated General Contractors of San Diego, Inc. and will be one of the most important issues facing the construction industry throughout the next year. I hope we can count on your support as we get the word out about this measure to the people of San Diego.
The San Diego City Council will have the opportunity to directly pass this measure in the next three weeks, but that is unlikely due to the amount of union-backed Council members. If rejected by the elected officials, the measure will be placed on the June 2012 ballot where the people will have the opportunity to vote it into law.
Last month I proposed my “Pathway to Prosperity” action plan with seven major reforms for job creation in San Diego, and Fair and Open Competition was a centerpiece of that proposal. As I promised then, I am willing to take these business-friendly proposals directly to the voters if politicians are unwilling to enact job-friendly reforms on their own.
An important note: Union-backed members of the State Legislature have introduced legislation which would overturn local bans on PLAs. Please contact Governor Jerry Brown’s office and encourage him to veto “Senate Bill 922” when it comes to his desk.
Governor Jerry Brown
State Capitol, Suite 1173
Sacramento, CA 95814
Phone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
This past week I released my "Pathway to Prosperity" -- a comprehensive plan to promote job creation in San Diego.
San Diego’s families and business owners are facing a bad economy and its only getting worse. Even more tragic is a city government that just doesn’t seem to care.
Usually city government spends its time putting up roadblocks and hurdles to job creation, rather than cutting red tape and helping to find ways to attract and grow businesses in San Diego.
That’s why I am proud to announce seven major reforms and proposals to encourage job growth in our city, as well as the creation of a fifteen-member Jobs Task Force made up of local business leaders. I will be developing these initial proposals, as well as developing additional reforms through input from the Task Force, a series of Town Hall Forums, and the launch of a Job Creation Hotline at (619) 236-6210 to hear exactly what kinds of problems business owners are having with the City and their ideas to solve them.
In business, time is money – and uncertainty can create so much risk that businesses decide not to pursue projects. That’s why the City of San Diego must dramatically reorganize and overhaul its entire process for handling permits to become “faster, better and cheaper.”
By streamlining regulations and “cycle time” for permit decisions, the City can remove cost and risk from projects – and in doing so position itself as an attractive place to do business.
To achieve this goal, I am proposing the following:
--Fixed Price Fee Structure: Instead of drawing down on “deposit accounts” which only encourages the city bureaucracy to take more time on permit processing, the Development Services department should switch to “fixed-price” permit pricing.
--Time and Quality Guarantees: For each permit category, the City will commit to a hard deadline by which the permit will be completely processed. If the City fails to meet the performance standards promised, the customer (applicant) will receive their money back, and the City will pay to put an extra project team on the permit application to expedite processing.
--Self-Certification Program: To streamline the number of permit actions that require a full-scale city review process, I propose “Self-Certification” Permitting for select projects, with liability transferred to entities that certify compliance with city codes.
--Employee Incentive Program: To encourage city employees to meet turn-around times, an incentive program will fund performance bonuses and training in key skill sets such as project management, customer service, etc.
--“Innovation Labs” for Process Redesign: Instead of trying to overhaul the entire DSD department as a whole all at once, I would like to see DSD broken down into four units: The existing City team, the CCDC team, and two outside contract teams. By having four units working separately over a 2-year trial, the goal is to encourage competition and innovation in process design and management. At the end of the two-year “Innovation Lab” period, results will be assessed and a final DSD structure will be implemented based on best practices from all four units.
What are your ideas for job creation? Call my Jobs Hotline or email me now!Comments
Last week I announced that over 1,400 people had joined our campaign in just the first 14 days.
This level of support from everyday San Diegans is almost unheard of this early in a campaign. Because I am up against the government labor union bosses and their unlimited financial resources, I know that our volunteers will be key to winning this race.
I have seen the power of a strong volunteer base in my City Council office projects, and also in just the first three weeks of the campaign. Its volunteers who stuff the envelopes that the invitations go in, man the phones that invite community members to hear me speak, and provide support for the 25 events that we have put on in the first 23 days of the campaign.
Volunteers are key to a campaign's success -- and I strongly believe they will be key to San Diego's success.
We see this already in all kinds of undertakings. Volunteers are the force behind successful bake sales, little leagues, church services, and cancer walks.
So why can’t they be part of the solution for San Diego's city services too? They can and they will be if I am elected mayor.
I'm thrilled that we already have many San Diegans volunteering in some discrete city services areas, such as at the local library stocking books or assisting the police department with patrolling neighborhoods through RSVP.
But unfortunately there are many more areas where San Diegans can volunteer and have tried to volunteer, but have been turned away.
Why? That is because government labor union bosses are afraid that volunteers will replace some dues paying city employees and they actively lobby the city against using volunteers. They have successfully thrown up road blocks, even in places where volunteers would provide service enhancements, and improve the quality of life for all San Dieagans.
All that will change if I am mayor. We need creative solutions to solve the cities problems -- and partnerships with non-profits and individual volunteers will be key to the solutions I champion as Mayor.
I pledge to work with the City Attorney’s office, department directors, and hire a Chief Volunteer Officer to expand opportunities for volunteerism, recruit volunteers, and to manage the volunteer process. My office will also expand partnerships with non-profits in a host of service areas designed to meet the changing needs of our neighborhoods -- from education and environmental protection to services for the homeless and senior citizens.
We need to get San Diegans off the sideline and get them part of the solution. Volunteerism is a great place to start.
To hear more about my thoughts on volunteerism and my plans for getting San Diegan’s involved, please see this week’s appearance on KUSI linked below.
KUSI Volunteerism VIDEO
To sign up to be a volunteer with my campaign -- and be part of the effort to Clean Up City Hall -- please visit my website at www.CarlDeMaio.comComments
We had an amazing kickoff event for my campaign for Mayor! I was so grateful that we had over 200 people come out to show their support.
The day was made all the more special for me to have my sister and brother on hand. They both mean the world to me, and we stuck together through some pretty tough times. I couldn't think of a better person to introduce me at the event! Thanks sis!
Good afternoon. I want to thank everyone for coming today for this important announcement from Carl DeMaio.
Many San Diegans know Carl as the Taxpayer Watchdog who works hard to fix the city’s financial problems.
But I know Carl in a different way. To me, he’s just my brother.
I’m Susan DeMaio-Mills.
I wanted to be here today to share with you a side of Carl that most of you do not know about.
Carl knows about challenges – and more importantly, how to overcome every challenge he’s ever faced.
Like many families, money was always tight for us.
But our entire family structure crumbled while our mother had to battle cancer for six years.
We were separated as children when our mother died two weeks after our father moved out.
At age 14, Carl was placed at a Jesuit boarding school where he was fortunate to be given an opportunity to earn his way into Georgetown University.
Carl arrived at Georgetown with $36 in his pocket.
Carl worked two jobs during college to pay the tuition. He also completed Georgetown a year early to save money.
Against all odds, and with no financing, at 24 Carl started a company and before 30, he started a second one. He grew both of them to multi-million dollar firms.
If I know one thing about Carl, he will never stop working to fix San Diego’s problems – no matter how big a challenge it may be.
And no challenge is too big for Carl – he’ll find some way to overcome it, no matter what.
I am so happy to be here today as Carl tells us how he intends to finish the challenge he took on four years ago when he left the business world and ran for City Council.
I give you my brother, and your Taxpayer Watchdog, Carl DeMaio!
I'm looking forward to meeting as many San Diegans as I can during this campaign -- and listening to their thoughts, concerns, and ideas for improving our city government.
This isn't new for me. In fact, I have made public interaction and engagement a top priority for me during my time on City Council -- holding Town Halls, community coffees, harnessing the power of social media, etc. Expect to see even more interaction and accessibility during this campaign.
You can take part in this dialogue by attending an upcoming event -- or even easier, you can click the "Share" button on the right to send me your comments, ideas, or suggestions.
As I engage San Diegans in this dialogue, I will use this blog to share what I hear and respond to ideas and suggestions. So stop by every so often, and take part in a conversation on how we can get city government back on the right track in San Diego!