SDG&E sends crews to bay area to help PG&E after powerful weekend storm

Media Contact:
Stephanie Donovan

San Diego Gas & Electric

(877) 866-2066


        SAN DIEGO, Jan. 6, 2008 – A convoy of about two dozen San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) trucks and more than 40 employees will leave early tomorrow headed to the San Francisco Bay area to help restore service to Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) customers affected by the weekend’s powerful winter storm.        

        Starting last Friday, Northern and Central California were walloped by heavy rains and high winds that badly damaged utility systems and knocked out electrical service to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. 

        “When wildfires devastated Southern California last fall and in 2003, PG&E was quick to lend a hand and send crews to aid in our power-restoration efforts for our customers,” said Debra L. Reed, president and chief executive officer of SDG&E.  “We are glad to be able to return the favor by sending experienced and dedicated SDG&E employees up north to help PG&E.” 

        The crews will depart around 7:30 a.m. from the utility’s base in Escondido at 571 Enterprise St., Escondido, Calif., 92029, and will be ready to start work early Tuesday morning helping PG&E crews replace poles and restring wire in communities between San Francisco and San Jose. 

        SDG&E is sending eight five-man crews – one from each of the utility’s construction and operation centers in San Diego and Orange counties.  The crews will stay as long as they’re needed by PG&E.  Reed said the temporary loan of mutual assistance crews will not hamper SDG&E’s ability to meet its customers’ needs. 

        The storm lost most of its punch before it reached San Diego County early Saturday, although rain and gusty winds lingered through today.  A total of 25 outages due to the storm affected about 15,300 SDG&E customers over the weekend.  That’s in sharp contrast to the 1.8 million PG&E customers initially left without electricity due to the storm.  PG&E said it already has restored service to more than 1.3 million, but power is still out for about 100,000 customers in the greater Bay Area.

        SDG&E is a member of the California Utilities Emergency Association, an organization that provides emergency operations support for efficient communications and coordination among government agencies and utilities in California.  The group’s members call on one another to help in restoration efforts after major events such as winter storms and wildfires. 

        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 more than 800,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.  The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles.  Exceptional customer service is a priority of SDG&E as it seeks to enhance the region’s quality of life.  SDG&E is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).  Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.

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