PPSD Launches New Video Campaign:
“Stop the Franchise Sellout!”
By Dory Bertics, Jake Rose, and John Mattes
What do we want?
We, Public Power San Diego, advocate for the creation of an independently-run publicly-owned, affordable gas and electric utility for our City of San Diego.
SDG&E, the fossil-fuel profit-based corporation currently running our city’s power franchise, charges among the highest rates for power in the nation. Let’s end this!
Our power utility should work for the people and the planet – not for profit!
When do we want it?
Now! At least 30 days prior to June 1st 2021.
Why should San Diego go public?
- An independent public utility offers lower, more affordable electric bills for the consumer (ex: SDG&E charges $100/month more than Sacramento’s municipal utility and $75/month more than Los Angeles)
- No rolling blackouts (public utility consumers in California have avoided the rolling blackouts imposed recently on ratepayers with investor-owned utilities)
- More money invested in your city: local community programs, support for crisis-hit areas, and municipal worker benefits (vs. $1 million/day in SDG&E and Sempra Energy, the parent company, coffers)
- Ensures San Diego reaches its goal of becoming renewable energy-dependent by 2035 – through money made by the public utility, by greater control over our city’s energy production, and via reduced dependency on fossil fuel profits – as per our city’s Climate Action Plan.
- Your vote and your voice would make an actual difference over how your utilities are run. Your electricity and gas utilities would work for you – not a corporation.
- Greater transparency, accessibility, and control over San Diego utilities for every San Diegan.
FRANCHISE: The territory and infrastructure involved in a license granted to an individual or group to market and profit off of a company’s goods or services; the license itself.
FRANCHISE AGREEMENT: A utility is granted the exclusive use of public rights of way for transmission and distribution, as well as the right to install and maintain wires, poles, power lines, and underground gas and electric lines within the city limits, like San Diego.
INVITATION TO BID: A request for utilities, like SDG&E, to make a bid on San Diego’s power franchise.
UTILITY: An organization supplying the community with electricity, gas, water, or sewerage.
The Publicly Run Power Timeline and Updates
- Former San Diego City Council President, Georgette Gomez, refuses to docket opening the bids from the gas and electric franchise auction the first week of November 2020.
- Former San Diego City Council President, Georgette Gomez, writes an offer to former Mayor Faulconer to issue a proposal to City Council for a one-year extension on November 10th, 2020.
- A one-year extension proposal never appears on the docket at former City Council meetings.
- Centrist Democrat, Jennifer Campbell, wins the position of San Diego City Council President over progressive Democrat, Monica Montgomery, on December 10th, 2020.
- San Diego City Council President, Jennifer Campbell, proposes to open the franchise auction bids on December 17th, 2020 at 10 AM.
- SDG&E is the only corporation to have placed a bid on San Diego’s power franchise. In their bid, SDG&E crossed out many lines within the franchise agreement, despite instructions within the agreement not to do so.
- New Democratic mayor of San Diego, Todd Gloria, dismisses SDG&E’s on December 18th, 2020 bid due to SDG&E’s hubris in the number of crossed-out lines and having ignored agreement instructions.
- Mayor Todd Gloria, as of March 2021, is currently working on an ITB, or an Invitation to Bid, for a Franchise Agreement with SDG&E. He has presented via staff member, Javier Gomez, Franchise Forums to the general online public while excluding any mention of publicly owned and operated power.
- Publicly owned and operated power is still an option on the table for San Diego. Legislatively* it can be applied and administered more successfully than any franchise agreement.
- Mayor Todd Gloria releases on March 18th a new ITB consisting of favorable terms for SDG&E (Despite the recommendations from JVJ Consulting, originally hired by Mayor Faulconer for independent assessment, that, if the Franchise Agreement of 2020 falls through, San Diego should pursue municipal power)
*please see The California Municipal Code
Let’s Improve Our Utilities Together!
Join us in the fight for a just, sustainable, and affordable public utility in San Diego. You can keep up to date with related news, campaign progress, volunteer opportunities, and upcoming events!
Our Press Conference from October 23rd in front of San Diego City Hall
Our Opening August Press Conference on
101 Ash Street
101 Ash Street
Sempra, the parent company of SDG&E, vacated their headquarters at this downtown high rise on 101 Ash Street and moved to a new luxury high rise overlooking Petco Park. Their new landlord (Cisterra Development) brokered the deal to unload the old building –left completely furnished by Sempra, and full of asbestos and other problems– in a highly controversial lease deal to the City.
“This high-rise debacle is costing us $18,000 a day,” says Craig Rose, a member of PPSD and the Citizens Franchise Alliance. SDG&E currently takes $1 million/day in net profits from the City, money which would otherwise go to benefit the people of San Diego, but instead only benefits the heads of Sempra Energy. “We’re dealing with a climate crisis, rolling blackouts, and a pandemic, with communities of color and lower-income folks slammed hardest. We can’t afford to ship this wealth out of our city any longer. We need Public Power.”
Publicly owned and operated power is the only way to lower utility rates for San Diegans and to give us the control we need to deal with the climate crisis, as well as the resources to help address environmental, economic, and social injustices. Sempra just finished creating a $10 billion fracking facility off the coast of Louisiana – using ratepayers’ money. They don’t care about San Diego and its residents needing to go green by 2035, or about dealing with the climate crisis. Sempra wants unearned profit – including making every San Diego resident pay SDG&E’s Franchise Fee to San Diego.
So, do we really want our power system controlled by a multinational corporation that pulls profits out of San Diego to build massive natural gas – fracking – export facilities instead of helping us develop the solar energy potential we have right here in our own City and County?
“Power to the people is Public Power!”
Who is Public Power San Diego?
Members include the Sunrise Movement – San Diego, NAACP – San Diego, Protect Our Communities Foundation, The North County Equity and Justice Coalition, Activist San Diego, the San Diego Democrats for Environmental Action, the Sierra Club – San Diego, La Jolla Democratic Club, and the Citizens Franchise Alliance, as well as unaffiliated residents who want a public utility for our city.