Eddie Van Herik
San Diego Gas & Electric
SAN DIEGO, Aug. 7, 2006 – With high bills following last month’s record heat wave, company shareholders and employees of San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) are contributing $250,000 to a bill-assistance program to help utility customers.
Called “Neighbor-to-Neighbor,” the program is open to qualified customers having difficulty paying their utility bills, and provides a one-time grant, on a first-come, first-served basis. The additional contribution to the program, which has helped thousands of SDG&E’s customers pay their energy bills, will enable more of them to get assistance now.
The utility intends to work with customers facing financial hardship to make payment plans.
“Last month was the second hottest July in San Diego in the last 100 years,” said Michelle Mueller, vice president of customer services for SDG&E. “Record temperatures resulted in record electric usage. Many of our customers need help with their bills, and we offer a number of programs to assist them.”
According to the National Weather Service, June was the third-hottest June in the San Diego area. The U.S. agency reported that 10 areas set temperature records in July.
In addition to the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program, SDG&E offers other programs to help customers manage their higher energy bills including:
• Rebates on energy-efficiency improvements at home and work
• Rate discount and assistance programs for lower income families and individuals
• Rate assistance for people with medical needs
• A wide range of information on controlling energy use and costs including on-line audits and energy calculator
Customers can call SDG&E at (800) 411-SDG&E to arrange for a payment plan or to locate a participating charitable agency in San Diego that will distribute the Neighbor-to-Neighbor fund to qualified customers. Customers also can call 211 for information on these and other assistance programs or go to SDG&E’s Web site, www.sdge.com/energyuse.
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 www.sdge.com.