SDG&E electric vehicle charging program ran $25M over budget, audit to come

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – “Power Your Drive,” SDG&E’s electric vehicle charging pilot program, continued spending even after surpassing their allotted budget, totaling $25 million overspent.

The overspending has prompted an audit from the California Public Utilities Commission.

SDG&E officials have stated that the overspending occurred because the program was completely new and they did not have previous data to more effectively gauge the program’s budget.

An independent consultant must complete an audit of the program’s spending before the Commission will approve another phase in the plan.

Estela de Llanos, SDG&E’s vice president of Clean Transportation, Sustainability and chief environmental officer, has said that SDG&E has not, thus far, turned to ratepayers (customers) to repay the overspent $25 million.

“And if we do seek recovery of those costs,” de Llanos said, “We expect the (public utilities commission) to scrutinize that request. And any examination of that would be open and transparent. We’re not concerned with showing that or having it reviewed.”

Elise Torres, staff attorney for The Utility Reform Network, joined KUSI’s Hunter Sowards on Good Evening San Diego to discuss the overspending.

“SDG&E has not requested to receive the funding from ratepayers yet — from its customers — but I would anticipate they probably will in the future and we will be there ready to fight against that. The funding really should come from their shareholders,” she said.

The need to build a stronger network of electric vehicle charging ports across California has become more pressing in the past few years.

Former Gov. Jerry Brown established a goal of 5 million light-duty electric vehicles on Californian roads by 2030.

Gov. Gavin Newsom enacted an order in 2020 to forbid the sale of new gasoline-powered vehicles by 2035.

Torres is an energy attorney who joined TURN in 2014.

She represents consumers in mix of electric and gas matters, focusing on cases with significant environmental impacts.

Categories: California News, KUSI, Local San Diego News