Utilities offer to help prevent dog bites when gas and electric employees visit customers

Media Contact:
PG&E Media

Media Contact:
Southern California Edison




Media Contact:

Media Contact:
San Diego Gas & Electric




        LOS ANGELES, Calif. May 13, 2010— Everyday, meter readers, gas service representatives and other utility employees enter yards and homes to read meters, re-light gas pilots and provide other types of customer service. During National Dog Bite Prevention Week, May 16 – 22, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), Southern California Edison (SCE), Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) remind customers to make sure dogs are safe and secure whenever a utility employee is scheduled to visit a home or business.

        According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 4.5 million Americans are bitten by dogs each year, and one in five dog bites results in injuries that require medical attention.  While children are the most common victims, dozens of utility employees in California are moderately to severely injured by dogs each year. Here are some tips to help prevent dog bites and provide a safe environment for both your pets and utility employees:

        • Restrain or relocate your dog during scheduled customer service visits and when it’s time for    utility employees to read your meter.

        • Customers can contact their local utilities or check their monthly bills for the dates when utility workers are scheduled to conduct meter readings. On those days, gates should be left unlocked, and dogs or other pets should be confined in a safe section of the property.

        • Confine your dog as necessary. If the employee is outside, keep your dog inside. If the employee is inside, keep your dog outside. If the employee must work near your dog, make sure it’s secure. Dogs may become more protective in the presence of their owners.

        • Post a Beware of Dog sign on your fence or house to avoid any surprises.

        • Leave a note on your meter explaining that you have a dog and how it is confined.

        • Be sure all vaccinations and inoculations for rabies and parasites are up to date.

        • Train your dog to obey simple commands like "sit," "stay," "no" and "come."

        • Obedience training can teach dogs proper behavior and help owners control their dog in any situation.

        • Collar your dog, so you have the means to quickly restrain your dog in any emergency.

        • If you get a new dog, contact your local utilities to let them know.

        About PG&E:  Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/.

        About Southern California Edison:  An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of nearly 14 million via 4.9 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.

        About SoCalGas:  Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years.  It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 20.5 million consumers through 5.7 million meters in more than 500 communities.  The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles in 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.

        About SDG&E:  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 840,000 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 our 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.