"Race to 500" Paves Way to Meeting San Diego's Clean Energy Goals

SAN DIEGO, Oct. 15, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- Climate change is a challenging issue not just for San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) but for America and the world. Leadership on this issue requires developing and deploying innovative technologies that reduce air emissions while making sure that electricity remains reliable and affordable.

SDG&E has significantly reduced its dependence on fossil fuels over the last 15 years. In 2001 the company had just 1 percent renewable power in its portfolio. Today, renewable energy from wind, solar, geothermal, biomass and hydroelectric represent more than 33 percent of the power provided to its 1.4 million electric customers.  

As the first utility to meet or exceed California's 33 percent renewable energy target – five years ahead of the state's 2020 deadline, the company is on track to exceed 40 percent in 2018.

By de-carbonizing electricity, a significant opportunity has been created to modernize the transportation sector. At today's California Plug-in Electric Vehicle Collaborative's DRIVE THE DREAM event in Los Angeles, SDG&E shared its progress toward Gov. Jerry Brown's commitment to get exponentially more zero-emission vehicles on California roads. And, the company made a new commitment.

"Opportunity comes in different shapes and sizes, and at SDG&E we believe that electrifying transportation is one of them. We have the opportunity to lower electricity costs to all of our customers, while also reducing both transportation costs for motorists and harmful air pollutants," said Jeff Martin, CEO of SDG&E. "Reducing air pollutants is particularly important in Southern California, where smog levels are higher than almost any other region in the United States."

With Gov. Brown today, Martin announced the "Race to 500," an innovative clean transportation program aimed at increasing employee adoption of electric vehicles (EV) and workplace charging. The program targets SDG&E becoming one of the first Southern California businesses to have 500 employees use EVs as their primary form of transportation.

"Leadership from California's utilities is key to growing the plug-in electric market," said California Plug-In Electric Vehicle Collaborative Executive Director Christine Kehoe. "DRIVE THE DREAM 2015 garnered enormous support from our utility members, and that commitment will help get California to 1 million clean electric vehicles by 2020."

With more than 18,000 EVs in SDG&E's service territory and more than 900 charging stations, San Diego has one of the highest concentrations of EVs in America, with the number on the road locally nearly doubling in the past year. To learn more about special low electricity rates, federal tax credits and state rebates for EV customers, visit SDGE.com/EV.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 868,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. Connect with SDG&E's Customer Contact Center at 800-411-7343, on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook.

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SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric

For further information: Erin Coller, San Diego Gas & Electric, 877-866-2066, sdge.com, Twitter: @sdge