LOS ANGELES, Sept. 29, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced that it has received approval from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to extend the Mobilehome Park (MHP) Utility Upgrade Pilot Program through December 31, 2019. In addition to the 10 percent of mobile home park spaces approved for conversion under the initial pilot program that began in 2014, SoCalGas will be authorized to convert another 5 percent of MHP spaces in its service territory to direct utility service through 2019.
Eighty-one percent of all mobile home parks throughout SoCalGas' territory applied to participate in the initial MHP Utility Upgrade Pilot Program. 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. Mobile home park residents will also benefit from advanced meter technology and enhanced access to customer assistance and energy savings programs.
"The CPUC's decision to extend the MHP Utility Upgrade Program will allow thousands more mobile home park residents, many of whom are seniors, working families, and others with limited resources, to have direct utility service and peace of mind knowing that their natural gas system will be maintained by SoCalGas," said Gina Orozco-Mejia, SoCalGas' Vice President of Gas Operations. "We commend the CPUC for its leadership and commitment to safety."
"Throughout the thousands of mobile home park communities within the state, there are aging gas and electric utility systems in need of replacement. I cannot sufficiently emphasize how important this process has been for all parties involved – park owners, park residents, and the general public. All parties can now rest assured knowing that we are all safer and better off for this upgrade program and the good it has done," said Barron McLemore, owner and operator of multiple mobile home parks throughout Southern California. McLemore's Mt. Slover mobile home park in Colton was the first project in the state to be completed under the initial pilot program.
"We are grateful for the opportunity to have participated in the MHP Utility Upgrade Program. Our staff and residents had a wonderful experience with the entire SoCalGas team," said Michele Cruz of J&H Asset Property Management, property manager of both Parque Mobile Estates and Cypress Gardens Mobile Home Park in Rialto. "From the account executive to the construction crew, the team was always available to answer questions and explain the process. We appreciate the enhanced safety and direct billing aspects of the program and are happy to know that mobile home parks will have the opportunity to reap similar benefits."
In March of 2014, the CPUC approved a voluntary, statewide, 3-year pilot program offering mobile home park owners the opportunity to replace their parks' energy distribution system with a new, professionally installed natural gas distribution system, which includes the installation and use of advanced meter technology. With advanced meters, mobile home park residents will have access to their hourly natural gas usage on a next-day basis that can enable them to better manage their gas usage and save money. New SoCalGas customers will now also be able to set up their own "My Account" to view and pay their bill online, schedule service, and/or sign up for paperless billing.
For more information about the Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade Program, please visit https://www.socalgas.com/stay-safe/safety-and-prevention/mobilehome-park-utility-upgrade-program.
Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States, providing clean, safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service to 21.7 million customers in Central and Southern California. Its service territory spans 22,000 square miles from Fresno to the Mexican border, reaching more than 550 communities through 5.9 million meters and 101,000 miles of pipeline. More than 90 percent of Southern California single-family home residents use natural gas for home heat and hot water. In addition, natural gas 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 has served communities in California for 150 years and is committed to being a leader in the region's clean energy future. The company has committed to spending $6 billion over the next five years to modernize and upgrade its gas infrastructure, while also reducing methane emissions. SoCalGas is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas, a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative fuel created by capturing and conditioning greenhouse gas emissions from farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. The company 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.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company