San Diego-based Sempra Energy and its two California utilities, Southern California Gas Co (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) have reached a cash settlement to resolve class-action lawsuits related to the Californian energy crisis of 2000-2001.

Under the terms of the settlement, Sempra Energy and its utilities vigorously deny any wrongdoing.

Given approval by the San Diego Superior Court, the Nevada District Court for Clark County, the City of Los Angeles and the City of Long Beach, California the settlement will see Sempra $377 million in cash to the claimants, of which $211 million will be payable in eight annual instalments and $166 million will be payable in two annual instalments. In addition, through its Sempra Generation unit which has a long-term power-supply contract with the California Department of Water Resources (CDWR), Sempra Energy is to reduce prices for the remaining six years of the contract to a total of $300 million and through its Sempra LNG unit, will sell gas to its subsidiary units at $0.02/mBTU less than the California Border Index price for natural gas.

SoCalGas and SDG&E are also to be subject to greater regulatory scrutiny.