SAN DIEGO, Oct. 25, 2007 – In response to this week’s wildfires, which have burned nearly 700 square miles, destroyed some 1,600 homes and forced the evacuation of more than 500,000 people, Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE) today announced it has established a $5 million fund to aid its Southern California customers and impacted local communities.
The relief program, which will be funded by Sempra Energy and not through utility rates, will be devoted to aiding people in the service territories of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) who have experienced hardships as a result of the fires. The fund will be expanded with contributions from suppliers, business partners and employees.
“For the more than 23 million Californians we serve and our 13,500 employees in the state, this week’s wildfires have been devastating,” said Donald E. Felsinger, chairman and chief executive officer of Sempra Energy. “We are committed to helping our customers, and the communities they live in, recover fully from this terrible natural disaster.”
More than half of the initial $5 million fund will be devoted to helping residential customers who have lost their homes to the fire and assisting them with their energy needs as they begin the process of planning and constructing their new homes. Additionally, the company will partner with a broad range of community organizations to funnel direct aid to fire victims.
Utility crews have been working around the clock to assess damage and restore service. Sempra Energy employees also have been active in Southern California relief efforts this week. The company has donated supplies, sleeping cots, blankets and meals at evacuation centers, as well as staffed evacuee information booths.
Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company with 2006 revenues of nearly $12 billion. The Sempra Energy companies’ 14,000 employees serve more than 29 million consumers worldwide.