Sempra settles lawsuit stemming from 2000-01 energy crisis
San Diego-based Sempra Energy settled lawsuits arising out of the energy crisis of 2000-01, which will lower the bills of consumers by a combined $400 million, it was announced Wednesday.
The announcement was made by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, state Attorney General Jerry Brown and Michael Peevey, president of the California Public Utilities Commission.
State officials said Sempra subsidiaries involved in power generation and trading were engaged in the wholesale energy market when prices spiked to record levels.
Sempra is also the parent company of San Diego Gas & Electric and the Southern California Gas Co.
“We are pleased to put this litigation behind us,” said Donald Felsinger, chairman and CEO of Sempra. “We believe this is a fair and reasonable outcome for both our shareholders and the state of California.”
Together with a 2005 agreement, Sempra will pay $700 million to settle energy crisis lawsuits.
Schwarzenegger said his administration has negotiated $3.2 billion in settlements from various energy companies.
“The people of California deserve affordable and reliable energy supplies,” Schwarzenegger said. “I will continue to fight to ensure lower prices for residents and businesses across California as we move forward with important policies.”
Customers of Southern California Edison and Pacific Gas and Electric will also have bills lowered as part of the settlement, Peevey said.