Energy: What to Watch in 2014

1. Innovations :Advances in energy technology could be the silver lining to the sustained costs of fuel and utility service.


2. Transportation :In 2013, the U.S. began producing more oil than it buys from abroad. That and more-efficient vehicles may help lower energy costs
3. Utility bills: California is reversing course after more than a decade of sheltering homes that skimp on electricity from rising utility costs.


4. No nuclear:What is needed to replace the San Onofre nuclear plant, which provided 20% of the San Diego area’s electricity?

5. Solar: A showdown is looming over incentives for rooftop solar that have allowed the technology to flourish in San Diego.

San Diego consumers have a big stake in energy trends taking shape in 2014.

For the first time in more than a decade, California is overhauling the way utilities charge for home electricity, dividing San Diego Gas & Electric customers into winners and losers.

Also, at least a billion dollars is at stake in investigations into the breakdown of the San Onofre power plant. The probe will decide who will pick up the tab — utility customers or corporate stockholders.

The retirement in June of the reactors touched off an ongoing debate about what new fossil fuel plants — if any — are needed to ensure reliable power supplies. The outcome could mean new smoke stacks over Carlsbad, San Onofre and Otay Mesa. Customers would pay $1.6 billion for one medium-sized plant.

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