'Environmental Champions' Take Center Stage In SDG&E Giving Initiative

Mar 14, 2016

SAN DIEGO, March 14, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) began taking applications for the seventh annual "Environmental Champions" initiative. SDG&E plans to award $1 million in grants to non-profit organizations for programs that educate K-12 youth and engage communities as stewards of the environment in San Diego and southern Orange counties.

Non-profits can now apply for grants ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 for individual programs and up to $50,000 for collaborative programs with other non-profit organizations. To date, the giving campaign has awarded more than 400 grants totaling nearly $8 million in donations to area non-profits.

"Having a meaningful and positive impact on the environment takes everyone working towards a common goal," said Michael Schneider, SDG&E's vice president of operations support. "The organizations that receive grants through 'Environmental Champions' are working each and every day to improve our community for our kids and grandkids."

Previous grant recipients, Birch Aquarium, San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy and WILDCOAST, took part in the 2016 program launch at SDG&E's Energy Innovation Center, a double-platinum LEED certified facility.

"America's future scientists are out there and we need to make sure we're reaching them and building enthusiasm about science," said Harry Helling, Executive Director, Birch Aquarium. "As teachers are challenged to implement Next Generation Science Standards, it is important that our Environmental Science Education Programs can continue to grow, and also reach students in underserved communities. SDG&E's support helps us to inspire students to pursue careers in science."

Non-profit organizations can submit online applications through April 8. Preference will be given to environmental programs that serve underserved youth and communities in one or more of the following areas: water quality and conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy, natural resource conservation and habitat preservation, and waste reduction/recycling. SDG&E plans to announce the grant recipients early this summer.

Environmental Champions is one of SDG&E's philanthropic programs. In the last five years, SDG&E has provided more than $32 million in funding to organizations that help local communities grow and prosper. Learn more about SDG&E's efforts at sdge.com/community.

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.5 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and 873,000 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 (SDG&E)

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