The Gas Company named 'industry pioneer' for leadership in advancing natural gas as a clean transportation fuel

Media Contact:
Denise King

Southern California Gas Co.

(877) 866-2066


        LOS ANGELES, April 2, 2007 – Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) today received the 2007 “Industry Pioneer” award for its leadership in advancing natural gas as a clean transportation fuel by the Alternative Fuels Vehicle Institute (AFVi) at the 13th National Alternative Fuels & Vehicle Conference in Anaheim, Calif. 

        “The Gas Company recognized early on the positive impact that clean-burning natural gas-powered vehicles can and do have on the environment, particularly in helping to improve the air we breathe,” said Anne Shen Smith, senior vice president of customer services at The Gas Company.   “This honor reflects our commitment to a technology that provides not only environmental benefits, but also economic and societal benefits to all Californians.”

        In presenting the award, Annalloyd Thomason, executive director at AFVi, said, “An Industry Pioneer is an early adopter of a fuel or technology that over time advances their vision through successful public/private partnerships.

        “In the early 1970s, The Gas Company had the foresight to embrace natural gas as a transportation fuel.  Due to their leadership and advocacy role, the use of natural gas-powered vehicles in Southern California has grown by 16 percent since 2000.”

        The Gas Company owns and operates a fleet of more than 1,100 natural gas-powered vehicles and 26 natural gas refueling stations.  Since the early 1990s, The Gas Company has offered customer information, education and training programs to help its customers operate natural gas vehicles in a safe, economic and reliable manner. 

        Since natural gas-powered vehicles do not use petroleum fuel and emit fewer greenhouse gases than traditional vehicles, the increased use of natural gas makes good public policy in the state’s effort to improve the environment, Smith said.  Today, there are more than 15,000 natural gas-powered vehicles in operation throughout Southern California, which include transit buses, school buses, waste haulers, street sweepers, airport shuttles, taxis and commuter vehicles.  In aggregate, these vehicles use more than 7.1 billion cubic feet of natural gas per year, which is the equivalent of 58.6 million gallons of gasoline.

        As an example of how California is benefiting from the environmental advantages of natural gas, The Gas Company has helped the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) create the largest fleet of natural gas-fueled buses in the world.  Today, MTA operates a fleet of more than 2,200 natural gas buses, which has brought about a significant reduction in nitrogen-oxide emissions, a component of smog.

        In 2006, the average cost of natural gas sold at The Gas Company’s public-access natural gas refueling stations was $0.60 per gallon less than the average retail cost of regular gasoline (87 octane).

        The 13th National Alternative Fuels & Vehicle Conference is the largest conference in the nation devoted exclusively to alternative fuels and vehicles.  Formerly known as the “Clean Cities Conference,” this fuel and technology gathering is designed to bring one-stop information and product shopping to vehicle fleet officials, policy-makers and advocates for clean transportation choices.

        Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for nearly 140 years.  It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, serving a population of 20.1 million consumers through 5.6 million gas meters in more than 500 communities.  The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles of diverse terrain throughout Central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border.  The Gas Company is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).  Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.  To learn more, go to