LOS ANGELES, June 29, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today joined State Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino) at a groundbreaking ceremony to kick off the second round of the company's Mobile Home Park (MHP) Utility Upgrade Program. Through the pilot program, SoCalGas replaces aging, privately-owned, natural gas distribution systems with new pipelines and advanced meter technology, providing direct utility service to mobile home park residents. These upgrades enhance safety, improve the reliability of natural gas service, and help customers save energy and money by letting them track their daily and hourly natural gas usage, receive bill tracker alerts, and participate in other money-saving programs. Since the MHP Utility Upgrade Program began in 2014, SoCalGas has upgraded 189 mobile home parks, providing direct utility service and advanced meter technology to nearly 10,500 customers.
Today's groundbreaking marked the start of construction at Foothill Village Mobile Home Park in Pomona, California. Photos of this morning's event are available here.
"Natural gas is the most affordable and reliable clean energy in California, and, through the Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade Program, residents benefit from brand new pipelines that are safe and equipped with advanced meter technology that helps families manage their energy costs," said Gina Orozco-Mejia, vice president of gas distribution for SoCalGas. "In addition, the more than 10,000 families who have participated in the program have gained access to a full suite of energy-saving solutions that help keep their bills low and reduce greenhouse gas emissions."
"As Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities, I am pleased to join SoCalGas as it launches the next round of this important program that will help mobile home residents in Pomona and other communities stay informed, conserve energy and save money," said State Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino). "This overall investment will help improve the quality of life for residents who live in communities with aging or failing infrastructure."
"We are very fortunate to have Foothill Village Mobile Home Park participating in the program as it offers both owners and residents tremendous safety benefits that in turn help to extend the life of the park," said Rheannon Arciniega, regional property manager at Bessire and Casenhiser, Inc. "Many of our mobile home parks have already participated in the program, and we have been extremely satisfied with the process and outcome. We look forward to bringing those same results to Foothill Village, working together with SoCalGas."
Successful Pilot Program Extended by Public Utilities Commission
In March 2014, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) approved a voluntary, statewide, three-year pilot program referred to as the Mobile Home Park (MHP) Utility Upgrade Program, authorizing each investor-owned utility to convert 10 percent of master-metered gas and/or electric MHP spaces within its operating territory to direct utility service by replacing their parks' energy distribution system with a new, professionally installed system.
Following a well-received initial pilot, the CPUC voted unanimously last September to extend the pilot program through December 31, 2019, authorizing SoCalGas to convert another 5 percent of MHP spaces to direct utility service. The extension of the program will provide enhanced safety and reliability through direct utility service to an additional 6,400 mobile homes in 65 parks throughout SoCalGas' territory.
In addition to infrastructure upgrades that enhance safety and service reliability, the program provides customers with tools to help manage their energy costs and keep bills affordable. Newly installed advanced meters will give customers the ability to view and receive alerts about their natural gas consumption, pay bills online, schedule service, and sign up for paperless billing. The program also offers income-qualified customers access to no-cost weatherization services through the Energy Savings Assistance Program and to a 20 percent rate discount through the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE).
Other mobile home parks in Pomona, California that SoCalGas has already converted to direct utility service under the first round of the pilot program include Rose Villa Mobile Home Park and Woodlawn Mobile Home Park.
Direct natural gas service to mobile home park residents is just one way SoCalGas helps to keep its customers' energy bills as low as possible. Since 1990, SoCalGas energy efficiency and rebate programs have saved customers more than $670 million. The utility offers more than 90 energy efficiency programs that deliver close to $161 million in annual cost savings directly to its customers.
Natural gas is the most affordable, reliable, clean, and increasingly renewable energy choice for home and water heating and cooking in Southern California and is used by more than 90 percent of residents in the region. According to the American Gas Association (AGA), households that use natural gas for water and space heating, cooking and clothes drying save an average of $874 per year compared to homes using electricity for those applications.
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 21.7 million customers across 22,000 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 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas is committed to investing in its natural gas system infrastructure, while keeping bills affordable for our customers. From 2013 through 2017, the company spent nearly $6 billion to upgrade and modernize its natural gas system to enhance safety and reliability. The company is also committed to being a leader in the region's clean energy future, and is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas from dairy farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants and the development of renewable energy storage technologies. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 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.