Sempra Earning Up In 2nd Quarter

Earnings are up at San Diego-based utility holding company Sempra Energy despite a $119 million charge for the retirement of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station. Sempra subsidiary San Diego Gas & Electric owns a 20 percent stake in the North County plant.

Sempra on Tuesday reported profits of $245 million for the April through June period, up from $62 million in the same time in 2012 when the company experienced a $179 million write-down on its investment in the Rockies Express pipeline.

Profits were elevated by $106 million with the approval by utility regulators of a four-year rate increase at SDG&E and Southern California Gas. The rate increase will show up on SDG&E customer bills starting Sept. 1, though it applies retroactively to the start of 2012.

Sempra said its financial performance increased excluding the charges and rate-case adjustment, with adjusted earnings rising 7 percent to $258 million in the second quarter.

San Onofre majority owner and operator Southern California Edison made the decision to retire the nuclear plant in June, more than a year after problems emerged with recently replaced steam generators that were intended to extend the life its two reactors.

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