SCE Business Rate Discount Approved to Help Retain Jobs and Attract New Businesses

September 08, 2005

September 8, 2005

Program will aid at-risk small-to-large manufacturing and medium-to-large commercial businesses

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Sept. 8, 2005—The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today approved a rate discount proposal by Southern California Edison (SCE) to help retain or expand existing Southern California businesses and to attract new businesses.

The program offers a rate discount to companies likely to shut down or to locate outside California due to high energy costs a five-year discount on their electricity rate—25% in year one, 20% in year two, 15% in year three, 10% in year four, and 5% in year five.

“State government and industry officials are searching for ways to stimulate California’s business climate,” said Bill Bryan, vice president of SCE’s major customer division.  “Offering at-risk businesses a rate incentive is a proven approach to achieving this important objective.”

The rate discount program requires applicants meet strict qualifying criteria, including documentation showing the company had viable alternatives to operating in California prior to obtaining the discounted rate.

Although available to all qualifying business customers with 200 kilowatts or more of electrical “demand” (the amount of energy needed at one point in time), SCE’s proposal targets manufacturing companies, the most electricity-intensive industries.

Sources* estimate that California lost 288,000 manufacturing jobs between 1998 and 2003 and that manufacturing sales declined $98.2 billion.  The top three reasons businesses give for relocating out of state are insufficient room, the cost of doing business in California, and the cost of occupancy and utilities.

“Ultimately, retaining and attracting businesses means saving and creating jobs,” said Bryan.  “That’s good for our customers and the Southern California economy.”

Business customers wanting more information on the new rate discount or to apply can contact their SCE account representative or the utility’s economic and business development team at 800-333-4766.

* U.S. Census, Bizminer, California Department of Finance Data, Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation.  

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An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.6 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.