SoCalGas, SDG&E propose new biogas services to develop renewable natural gas market

Nov 23, 2010

Media Contact:
Denise King

Media Contact:
Art Larson

Southern California Gas Company

San Diego Gas & Electric

(877) 643-2331

(877) 866-2066


        LOS ANGELES, Nov. 23, 2010 –-Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has filed for authorization from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to develop, own, operate and maintain bioenergy production and gas conditioning facilities that would transform organic waste from water treatment plants, farms and other operations into renewable natural gas suitable for power production or injection into utility pipelines.

      “SoCalGas and SDG&E’s proposed new facilities and services will open the way for creating value from biogas, a virtually untapped Southern California energy resource,” said Hal Snyder, vice president of customer solutions for SoCalGas and SDG&E.  “We believe the utilities’ support and involvement in advancing the biofuels market will help bring awareness to the benefits of renewable natural gas. These efforts also will support the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and objectives.”

        According to the California Bioenergy Working Group, biogas has the potential to supply up to 16 percent of California’s natural gas needs.  Despite this potential, the renewable biogas market has not developed due to high upfront capital investment and operational cost requirements and the ability to maintain a gas quality standard. 

        Under a long-term contract, the utilities would invest in the capital required to provide gas conditioning and bioenergy projection services for a fee. The turn-key projects would be located on or adjacent to customers’ premises. SoCalGas and SDG&E would share a portion of the proceeds with utility ratepayers, if the proposal is approved as filed.

        The utilities expect a decision on the proposal from the CPUC in 2011.

        About SoCalGas
        SoCalGas has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years.  It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 20.7 million consumers through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities.  The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles in diverse terrain throughout Central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border.

        About SDG&E
        SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 845,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.  The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles.  SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day.  Both SDG&E and SoCal Gas are subsidiaries of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.