EPIC Releases Study on Public Goods Charge

News Release


Scott Anders, Director, Energy Policy Initiatives Center (619) 260-4589

Ashley Wood, Director of Communications, USD School of Law (619) 260-4097



USD School of Law Report

Only Half of the Contributions to Fund Green Energy and Energy Research

Made by San Diego Residents are Returned to the Region

San Diego, Calif., Sept. 7, 2006—The Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC), a nonprofit academic and research center at the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law, released a new study that tracks how much of the funding contributed by San Diego residents through their electric utility bills is returned to the region to fund renewable energy and energy-related research and development. The study found that from 1998 to 2005, SDG&E customers contributed more than $140 million for renewable energy and research projects. However of that total, only 50% – or $72 million – of the money contributed has returned to the region to fund renewable energy and research projects.

“This study is an example of how EPIC is contributing to the energy policy dialogue in our region and in California,” said Kevin Cole, dean of the USD School of Law. “EPIC undertook this study in response to concerns by local stakeholders that our region was not receiving a proportionate share of the funds collected here.”

EPIC’s analysis focused on two programs that are administered by a state agency rather than the local utility: the Renewable Energy Program and the Public Interest Energy Research Program (PIER). These programs provide funding for renewable energy and research and development.

The study shows that the amount of funds returned to the region varies by program. For example the SDG&E service territory received 70% of the funds it contributed for energy research and development, while 43% of the funds contributed for renewable energy development returned to the region.

“Several factors account for the difference between contributions and allocations,” said Scott Anders, director of EPIC. “During the time period we analyzed, SDG&E had a limited number of renewable energy facilities and contracts, which accounts for the limited amount of funding allocated from the Renewable Energy Program. We also found that a $150 million loan from the Renewable Energy Program to the state’s general fund has not been repaid and that a portion of the funds contributed to these programs has not yet been allocated and remains in a program fund balance.”


To download a copy of the report, visit EPIC’s website.

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Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC)

EPIC is an academic and research center of the University of San Diego School of Law that studies how energy policy issues affect the San Diego County region and California. EPIC integrates research and analysis, law school study and public education, and provides legal and policy expertise and information about efficient and environmentally responsible solutions to our future energy needs.


USD School of Law

The University of San Diego School of Law is a center of academic excellence focused on preparing its students for legal practice in the new century.One of the most selective law schools in the country, the School of Law’s nationally recognized faculty create a demanding, yet welcoming environment that emphasizes individualized education.USD law school graduates consistently score higher than the state average on the California Bar Exam and go on to practice law throughout the country and abroad, forming an influential network of alumni.The USD School of Law is one of only 80 law schools in the country to have a chapter of The Order of the Coif, the most distinguished rank of American law schools. The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949.