Eddie Van Herik/Peter Hidalgo
Southern California Gas Co.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 8, 2006 – Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) today submitted its General Rate Case, a detailed projection of its expenses and revenues for 2008 and a budget formula for 2009-13, to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for review and approval.
“Like many businesses, we are experiencing higher costs to meet stricter government regulations, new environmental mandates and rising expenses for raw materials,” said Michael R. Niggli, chief operating officer of The Gas Company and San Diego Gas & Electric. “Our focus is on maintaining excellent service for our customers both now and in the future.”
The General Rate Case covers nearly all the costs involved in providing service to The Gas Company’s 19.8 million customers through 5.6 million natural gas meters in more than 500 communities in Central and Southern California. The detailed budget – nearly 9,000 pages -- does not cover the cost of natural gas, low-income or medical-assistance programs, or energy-efficiency rebates.
The filing is part of a lengthy, 12-month review process that will include numerous regulatory and public hearings next year, both at the CPUC in San Francisco and in several Southern California cities.
The proposed changes would increase the monthly bill of a typical residential customer by 4 percent, or approximately $2.40, beginning in 2008.
The Gas Company also said it was requesting the funding to:
• Meet new federal regulations requiring stringent inspection of all utilities’ gas pipelines in the wake of two explosions on pipeline systems outside of California.
• Comply with new government-mandated rules for treating stormwater runoff found in underground vaults.
• Accommodate rising health-care costs for current and retired employees.
• Meet increasingly strict air-quality regulations for its fleet.
The Gas Company 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 19.8 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 www.socalgas.com.
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