Sempra Energy, the parent of San Diego's electric utility, announced today it will pay $410 million to settle charges stemming from during the California energy crisis.
The charges have to do with business practices at Sempra's electrical-trading company, not its retail utility San Diego Gas & Electric. The money will be refunded to California consumers.
"The settlements will put hundreds of millions of dollars back into the pockets of California energy consumers who suffered blackouts and great economic harm during the energy crisis," said Attorney General Jerry Brown in a press release.
The charges have to do with Sempra's wholesale electricity trading practices. Sempra was accused by the state of "Enron-style gaming" and "a pervasive pattern of market manipulation and abuse."
Sempra's chairman and chief executive, Donald Felsinger, called the settlement "a fair and reasonable outcome for both our shareholders and the state of California." The agreement will cut the company's first quarter earnings by $96 million, or 38 cents a share, after taxes.
The state has obtained billions of dollars worth of settlements over the crisis.