LOS ANGELES, Dec. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Company (The Gas Company) announced today it has reached a settlement-in-principle with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) Office of Ratepayer Advocates, The Utility Reform Network (TURN) and the Utility Workers Union of America on the utility's Cost-of-Service rate case. "This tentative settlement is fair to our shareholders and it is reasonable for our customers by ensuring that we will be able to continue to provide exceptional service and meet their future energy needs," said Edwin A. Guiles, chairman and chief executive officer of The Gas Company. "Our goal is to continue to provide safe, reliable energy delivered to our customers at their homes and businesses." The Cost-of-Service settlement establishes how much The Gas Company would be allowed to charge in customer rates during 2004 to cover most of its costs, including operating and maintenance expenses. The cost of purchasing natural gas and transporting it to California is not covered by the settlement. Final details of the settlement are still being addressed and must remain confidential until the filing is formally made with the CPUC by Dec. 19. While specific rate impacts will not be released until the formal submittal of the settlement, it will, if adopted, reduce customer delivery rates from their current levels. Under the CPUC's review process, the settlement parties will file their detailed agreement with the Commission by Dec. 19, 2003, followed by written comments and briefs with a final deadline of Feb. 19, 2004. The Commission can act on the settlement anytime thereafter. The Gas Company is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 18.9 million consumers through 5.3 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, 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