SDG&E installs 350 'smart' electric meters in neighborhood field tests

Aug 28, 2006

Media Contact:
Eddie Van Herik

San Diego Gas & Electric

(877) 866-2066


        SAN DIEGO, Aug. 28, 2006 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is installing its first wave of “smart” electric meters in field tests that will continue for several months.  The high-tech meters enable two-way communication between SDG&E and a customer’s home or business.

        The new meters are expected to provide SDG&E customers with numerous benefits, including improved customer service, more real-time information on energy use, and faster identification of system outages during events like July’s heat wave.  Customers should be able to make more informed energy decisions and have greater control over their energy use and costs as a result, according to Anne Shen Smith, senior vice president of customer services for SDG&E.  Ultimately, the advanced meters should reduce the likelihood of electricity shortages.  

        “We are always looking for ways to apply state-of-the-art technologies to improve services to customers.  The smart meters are the next major step.  Once in place, they will also pave the way for other enhancements to our operations,” said Smith.  “The tests are essential to help us determine which technology is the best at meeting our customers’ needs.”

        As part of its field tests, SDG&E plans to install approximately 350 electric meters and 150 gas modules from different vendors in three test areas: Fallbrook, downtown San Diego and Rose Canyon.  The tests are expected to highlight the viability of the technologies.

        SDG&E is planning to replace all of 1.3 million of its electric meters, and also is proposing to tie its 825,000 gas meters into the system.  If approved by state regulators, meter installation could begin in mid-2008 and be completed by 2010.

        San Diego Gas & Electric is a full-service energy utility that currently serves 3.4 million consumers through 1.3 million electric meters and more than 825,000 natural gas meters.  The utility’s service area spans 4,100 square miles and serves customers in more than 125 communities from Southern Orange County to the Mexican border.  SDG&E 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