LOS ANGELES, Oct. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today applauded the more than 100 local governments across Southern California, representing approximately 6.75 million Californians, that have passed resolutions in support of affordable and balanced strategies to reduce emissions from buildings and that call on state policymakers to preserve consumers' ability to choose either natural gas or electric appliances for their homes and businesses. These resolutions were passed in response to concerns state policymakers are taking steps to prohibit the use of natural gas in new buildings. State energy regulators are actively considering calls for new regulations that would eliminate natural gas use in new buildings and have also proposed programs that would result in existing natural gas customers paying for all-electric retrofits to existing homes.
"It is amazing to me that state regulators are seriously considering transitioning California to run on a single energy source," said Steve Tye, Mayor Pro Tem for the City of Diamond Bar. "Policymakers should be advocating for and focused on a diverse portfolio of clean energy sources like solar, wind and renewable natural gas. I am proud that our city council unanimously passed a resolution calling for such a policy."
"Many of my constituents have no idea the state has proposed moving towards eliminating the use of natural gas in every California building, including homes," said Rosemead Mayor Maggie Clark. "When I tell them what is happening they are incredulous and outraged because they love their natural gas stoves and appliances. How can it be that such an issue would not be debated in public?"
"People are going to want to continue to use natural gas, and RNG allows folks to keep their gas but have more of it come from renewable sources," said Joe Neves, Chair of the County Board of Supervisors for Kings County. "This clean energy solution works with people's preferences rather than against them. We should have that right to decide."
"The cost of switching gas appliances to electric-only in addition to an increase in energy costs would unfairly impact our low-income communities," said Andy Melendrez, Riverside Mayor Pro Tem. "More than 65 percent of the working population within the Inland Empire commutes to Los Angeles and Orange County daily due to our lower housing costs. This would force more of our population to move further away from their jobs increasing traffic, air-emissions and pollution."
"Keeping energy costs down should be a top priority, especially at a time when California is undergoing what Gov. Newsom has identified as an affordability crisis, with skyrocketing costs on everything from housing to child care," said Sharon Tomkins, SoCalGas vice president for strategy and engagement. "That requires keeping all solutions on the table that can help meet California's clean energy goals, including renewable natural gas and hydrogen."
Today, more than 90 percent of homes in Southern California use natural gas for space and water heating or cooking. Families in Southern California prefer natural gas by a margin of 4 to 1 for space and water heating and cooking because it is less expensive than electricity.
A 2018 study by the California Building Industry Association found that replacing natural gas appliances in California homes with electric models could increase household energy costs by more than $850. Alternatively, another recent study found that replacing 20 percent of the natural gas California uses today with renewable natural gas could reduce emissions equal to electrifying every building in the state, at half the cost.
Earlier this year, SoCalGas committed to replace 20 percent of the natural gas the company purchases with renewable natural gas by 2030 – as part of a broad, inclusive and integrated plan to help achieve California's ambitious climate goals.
For more information on SoCalGas' inclusive vision for California's clean energy future, visit www.socalgas.com/vision
To view a list of the local governments that have passed balanced energy resolutions, click here.
About SoCalGas Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States. SoCalGas delivers affordable, reliable, clean and increasingly renewable natural gas service to 21.8 million customers across24,000 square miles of Central and Southern California, where more than 90 percent of residents use natural gas for heating, hot water, cooking, drying clothes or other uses. Natural gas delivered through the company's pipelines also plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians— about 45 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas' vision is to be the cleanest natural gas utility in North America, delivering affordable and increasingly renewable energy to its customers. In support of that vision, SoCalGas is committed to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its natural gas system infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2014 through 2018, the company invested nearly $6.5 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy(NYSE: SRE), an energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter(@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.