The Gas Company recognizes the City of San Luis Obispo with energy-efficiency award

Nov 20, 2006

Media Contact:
Peter Hidalgo

Southern California Gas Co.

(877) 866-2066


        LOS ANGELES, Nov. 20, 2006 – Southern California Gas Company (The Gas Company) presented its Energy Champion Award to the City of San Luis Obispo in recognition of innovative energy-efficiency technologies at the city’s new 16,000-square-foot office building.

        The new building located at 919 Palm St., houses the city’s public works and community development departments.

        The building features a system that harnesses the heat from the ground water under the building known as a geothermal ground-loop.  The system circulates 130 gallons of water per minute through 18 heat pumps throughout the building, helping to provide energy for both hot air and cold air. The cutting-edge system eliminates the need for a conventional central heating and cooling plant with boilers and evaporation coolers.

        The Energy Champion Award was presented at the “Elections, Energy and Your Business’ Bottom-Line" dinner Nov. 16, sponsored by The Gas Company and Economic Vitality Corporation of San Luis Obispo County.   The event featured state Assemblyman Sam Blakeslee, vice chair of the Assembly Utilities and Commerce Committee; as well as Dan Walters, syndicated Sacramento Bee columnist and political pundit.  The event explored the topics of energy legislation, energy-efficiency programs that can help businesses save money, challenges and opportunities in California’s energy markets, and the impact of the November elections on California. 

        The City of San Luis Obispo estimates that its geothermal system will save between $3,400 and $3,800 in operating costs every month.  The system also will save about 20,000 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and 18,500 pounds of sulfur-dioxide emissions annually, as well as 10,000 gallons of water every month because there is no water evaporation in the cooling system.

        The new office space also features other new energy-saving technologies, such as independent light zones, motion sensors and individual zone controls that adjust temperatures based on occupancy.

        The Gas Company is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 19.8 million consumers through 5.6 million meters.  The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles in most of central and Southern California.  The Gas Company strives to provide exceptional customer service to enhance the quality of life in the community.  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.