The Gas Company and California Earn National Awards For Energy Efficiency Programs

State of California and Utilities Earn ENERGY STAR(R) Awards

From the U.S. EPA and U.S. DOE for Teaming Up to Protect the Environment

Through Energy Efficiency

Apr 08, 2003, 01:00 ET from Southern California Gas Company

    LOS ANGELES, April 8 /PRNewswire/ -- The U.S. Environmental Protection
 Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) have announced that they
 have selected the State of California, Pacific Gas and Electric Company,
 Sempra Energy Utilities -- San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California
 Gas Company -- and Southern California Edison to receive a joint award for the
 2003 ENERGY STAR(R) for Regional, State and Community Leadership in Energy
 Efficiency Excellency.
     The state -- through its Flex Your Power campaign -- and the four utility
 companies joined forces to educate Californians about energy efficiency
 products and incentives.  Californians responded by purchasing nearly
 3 million qualifying ENERGY STAR(R) products that reduced energy usage by
 30 megawatts.  (One megawatt provides the energy used by approximately one
 thousand households.)
     Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern
 California Gas Co. and Southern California Edison also will receive the 2003
 ENERGY STAR(R) Partner of the Year for New Homes from the EPA and DOE.  The
 state and utilities will be recognized at an awards ceremony in Washington,
 D.C., April 15, 2003.
     "The teamwork between the State of California, Pacific Gas and Electric
 Company, San Diego Gas & Electric, Southern California Gas Co. and Southern
 California Edison exemplifies the national, regional and local promotional
 work that successfully brings ENERGY STAR(R) to so many consumers," said
 Kathleen Hogan, director of EPA's Climate Protection Partnerships Division.
 "We are lucky to have these quality partners delivering community-based ENERGY
 STAR(R) resources."
     As part of their response to the energy crisis conditions of 2001, the
 state designed and ran a multi-million dollar energy conservation and
 efficiency campaign called "Flex Your Power," which involved paid media and
 more than a dozen major initiatives, including partnerships with businesses,
 local governments, schools, and consumers.  One of the most effective of these
 initiatives was a partnership between the state and the investor-owned
 utilities, which joined together in a collaborative effort to make all of
 California's consumers aware of how they could save energy and money through
 energy efficiency.  Both the Flex Your Power and the statewide utilities'
 campaign teamed television, radio and newspaper ads with outreach events and
 promotions through retailers and businesses to spread the energy efficiency
     In 2001, approximately 33 percent of residential customers and 27 percent
 of business customers reduced energy usage by 20 percent or more from prior
 years.  To continue this momentum for customers, the California Public
 Utilities Commission is expected to approve the utilities' and state's 2003
 energy efficiency programs later this month.
     "By developing consistent rebate levels and a unified message, this
 coordinated public-private partnership was able to encourage consumers
 statewide to invest in ENERGY STAR(R) qualifying products and appliances,"
 said Wally McGuire, coordinator of the state "Flex Your Power" campaign. "As a
 result, sales of some ENERGY STAR(R) qualifying appliances have risen more
 than 100 percent in California."
     California is also leading the way in building energy efficient
 homes -- homes that exceed state energy codes by more than 15 percent.  More
 than one-third (21,500) of the 57,000 ENERGY STAR(R) homes being built in the
 United States are being constructed in California.  The statewide effort has
 earned PG&E, SDG&E, So Cal Gas and SCE the ENERGY STAR(R) Partner of the Year
 for New Homes.
     "The partnership of the four utilities' statewide programs and the Flex
 Your Power campaign has helped make, ENERGY STAR(R) a household name in
 California, whether a builder is constructing a new home or business, a family
 is purchasing a new appliance or an existing business is cutting costs by
 installing energy efficient products," says Anne Smith, vice president of
 customer services, mass markets, for Sempra Energy Utilities, The Gas Company
 and San Diego Gas & Electric, "The Gas Company's customers recognize the
 ENERGY STAR(R) label as the product to purchase when meeting the highest level
 of energy efficiency."
     About California's Investor Owned Utilities:
     Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Sempra Energy Utilities -- San Diego Gas
 & Electric and Southern California Gas Company -- and Southern California
 Edison have a twenty-year history of running award-winning energy efficiency
 and conservation programs.  For years, these four utilities have run energy
 efficiency programs with statewide rebates for ENERGY STAR(R) products at the
 heart of their campaigns.
     About Flex Your Power:
     California's "Flex Your Power" campaign was the most aggressive,
 comprehensive, and integrated energy conservation and efficiency effort in the
 history of the United States.  Coordinated by the California State and
 Consumer Services Agency, the "Flex Your Power" campaign included a
 comprehensive statewide paid media campaign outreach undertaken by the
 Department of Consumer Affairs, efforts by numerous state and local
 governmental agencies to reduce energy use, and partnerships with the
 residential, business, agricultural, and industrial sectors to conserve energy
 during peak hours and use energy more efficiently at all times.  As a result
 of these efforts, in 2001, California reduced its overall energy use by nearly
 7 percent and up to 14 percent during peak hours.
     About ENERGY STAR(R):
     ENERGY STAR(R) was introduced by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
 in 1992 as a voluntary market-based partnership to reduce air pollution
 through increased energy efficiency.  Today, with assistance from the
 Department of Energy, the ENERGY STAR(R) program offers businesses and
 consumers energy-efficient solutions to save energy, money and help protect
 the environment for future generations.  More than 7,000 organizations have
 become ENERGY STAR(R) partners and are committed to improving the energy
 efficiency of products, homes and businesses.  For more information about
 ENERGY STAR(R), visit or call toll-free 1-888-STAR-YES
     The Gas Company is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility,
 providing safe and reliable energy to 18 million consumers through 5.1 million
 meters.  The company's service territory encompasses 23,000 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 part of Sempra Energy Utilities, the umbrella for Sempra
 Energy's regulated California utilities.  Sempra Energy (NYSE:   SRE), based in
 San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.

SOURCE Southern California Gas Company