STOCKTON — The Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) on Thursday cleared the way for the South San Joaquin Irrigation District (SSJID) to expand its utility services.
LAFCo’s board voted 4-1 to accept SSJID’s documents after a special two-day hearing. The decision paves the way for SSJID to negotiate with PG&E to allow SSJID to take over electricity service for Manteca, Escalon and Ripon.
SSJID has been fighting for the change for more than five years. It argues that by replacing PG&E it can reduce electric rates for customers by 15 percent. It also says it will be more accountable to ratepayers because its board is locally elected.
PG&E has argued that SSJID’s savings estimates are based on “significant assumptions” about affordability.
SSJID currently provides wholesale power, water, and storm drainage services to the three communities.