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

April 06, 2004

April 6, 2004

Proposal aimed at small-to-large manufacturing and medium-to-large commercial businesses

ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 6, 2004 — Southern California Edison (SCE) today filed a rate discount proposal with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) designed to help retain or expand existing Southern California businesses and to attract new businesses.

The program would offer companies likely to shut down or to locate elsewhere due to high energy costs a five-year discount on their electricity rate – 25% in year one and five percent less each of the remaining four years.

“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 to stay in California or relocate here is a proven approach to achieving this important objective.”

CPUC review of SCE’s proposal is expected to take several months.  If approved, the rate discount program would call for rigorous qualifications, requiring applicants to document the fact that, but for the program’s rate incentive, they would be forced to leave the area or, if not yet located in Southern California, unable to place a facility in the region. 

Although available to all qualifying business customers with 200 kilowatts or more of electrical “demand” (the amount of energy needed at a point in time), SCE’s proposal would target 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, for California, and for our own business.”

Customers wanting to follow the progress of SCE’s proposal, to be called the Economic Development Rate, through the regulatory review process can do so online at www.sce.com by clicking on “Regulatory Info Center” and then “Open Proceedings Before the CPUC.”

* 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 12 million via 4.6 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.