SAN DIEGO, April 11, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has recently earned two national recognitions that demonstrate the utility's momentum in developing a smart grid for the benefit of the region. SDG&E received the "Top Ten Best North American Utilities" award for smart grid development from Greentech Media, which is one of the nation's leading cleantech news and research websites. SDG&E also was one of four utilities highlighted for successful smart grid customer engagement efforts in a report by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing smart grid benefits to utility customers.
Taken together, these advances solidify SDG&E's position as a national leader in the development of the smart grid, which is using technology to enhance reliability, integrate renewable energy and provide more options for customers.
"These recognitions demonstrate SDG&E's commitment to using the transformative power of the smart grid for the benefit of our customers, our community and the environment alike," said Jim Avery, SDG&E's senior vice president for power supply. "SDG&E is creating a new smarter, greener grid that will improve the lives of customers, enhance energy efficiency efforts, integrate intermittent renewable energy and bolster grid reliability. We truly appreciate Greentech Media and the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative for recognizing our efforts and highlighting the importance of the smart grid for our communities and our nation."
Greentech Media presented SDG&E with the "Top Ten Best North American Utilities" award for launching one of the most ambitious smart grid deployment plans in the nation that consists of more than 60 separate initiatives for the benefit of the region. Greentech Media stated that SDG&E "have been visionaries" in developing its smart grid and highlighted several programs that are already producing concrete results. For example, SDG&E has installed 2.3 million smart electric meters and gas meter upgrades that give customers the ability to have more choice, convenience and control of how they use energy. The utility is also enhancing reliability by adopting an advanced Outage Management System that leverages real-time data from smart meters to speed up the detection and restoration of power outages; and is operating the nation's largest "microgrid" in Borrego Springs that integrates a variety of smart technology on the local system.
This is the second year in a row that SDG&E has received the "Top Ten" award, which was presented at the end of March at Greentech Media's flagship smart grid conference, Networked Grid 2013. This is one of several recent smart grid awards SDG&E has received, including being named "Most Intelligent Utility" for three years in a row by Intelligent Utility magazine and POWER magazine's prestigious "2012 Smart Grid Award" for the nation's most advanced smart grid.
SDG&E's innovative efforts to connect with and engage customers in the development of the smart grid were recognized in a detailed report authored by the Smart Grid Consumer Collaborative. As one of only four utilities featured in this national study, SDG&E was lauded for using smart grid technology to change the utility's relationship with customers for the better. By using the newly installed smart meters as the foundation, SDG&E is developing innovative programs that create an individualized, two-way relationship between the utility and the customer, empowering them with more information about energy usage and new opportunities to conserve electricity and save money in the process.
For example, SDG&E has launched the Green Button online tool that provides customers with easy access to up to 13 months of detailed energy consumption data to help them better manage their energy use and conserve. To date, more than 20,000 customers have already downloaded their data using the Green Button. SDG&E also worked with Candi Controls to develop an app called PowerTools that provides this information to customers in new and exciting ways, including through mobile phones, tablets and Facebook. This app is now being offered free to customers and is available on iPhone and iPad via the iTunes store, and in Google Play for select Android mobile phones and tablets.
The report also highlights SDG&E's "Reduce Your Use" program, which provides cost savings to customers of $0.75 per kilowatt hour (kWh) for reducing their energy use on designated peak days when energy conservation is most important. SDG&E called "Reduce Your Use" days seven times in summer 2012, including one test event, with an average customer bill credit of $2.50 per event. On average, customers who reduced energy use received almost $20 in bill credits in 2012.
With these and many other advances, SDG&E is fast becoming the national leader in implementing smart grid programs that benefit customers, enhance electric grid reliability and protect the environment by smoothly integrating clean energy and electric vehicles. SDG&E will continue to move forward with its smart grid program to further realize this vision of a more advanced, responsive and sustainable grid for the region.
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 860,000 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 customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. Connect with SDG&E's Customer Contact Center at 800-411-7343, on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook.
SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)