Modernizing and Upgrading Infrastructure to Ensure Long-term Reliability and Safety

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today filed a rate request with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to modernize and upgrade infrastructure to ensure long-term reliability and safety, and maximize the use of renewable, sustainable energy for the region’s future.

More than half of the request is attributable to infrastructure modernization efforts to ensure long-term reliability and safety. This includes:

  • Upgrading aging electrical equipment to ensure better safety and reliability for customers;
  • Improving the safety of underground and overhead power lines; and,
  • Ensuring the safety of more than 14,000 miles of natural gas pipelines, which includes increasing the frequency of performing leak surveys and maintenance, and upgrading pipelines that have reached the end of their useful life.

The company is committed to modernizing infrastructure and delivering customers in San Diego and south Orange counties the cleanest, safest, most reliable energy in America.  SDG&E believes that every family deserves reliable energy at a cost they can afford to keep the lights on, heat their homes and power their businesses 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That is why proactive steps are being taken every day to make the company more efficient, to diversify energy sources, and to give customers more control over their energy consumption so costs are reduced and savings passed along directly to our customers.

Financial impact

The company has requested a $218 million increase over 2018 CPUC-approved rates. Per month, a typical residential customer using 500 kilowatt hours of electricity would see an increase of approximately $6.13, and a typical residential customer using 25 therms of natural gas would see an increase of approximately $7.57.

Key highlights

1. Reliable power that is always on. The company is requesting to:

  • Upgrade equipment to limit the frequency and duration of power outages;
  • Improve the safety and reliability of overhead power lines in the region;
  • Reduce the risk of damage to power lines by replacing wood poles with steel poles; and,
  • Modernize the company’s substations, half of which are more than 50 years old and for which replacement components are no longer available. 

Specific examples include upgrading high-voltage power lines in the Cleveland National Forest and continuing the Fire Risk Mitigation (FiRM) program, which addresses fire risk by modernizing critical areas and replacing aging powerline infrastructure.

2. A commitment to ensuring the safety and security of everyone in the region. That means investing in people, infrastructure and technology to deliver even better natural gas service, greater reliability and more peace of mind for customers.

  • The company is recommending safety-related investments on more than 14,000 miles of natural gas pipelines serving homes and businesses.
  • This includes more frequent patrolling, inspecting, testing, repairing and upgrading of pipelines and service lines to homes and businesses.

3. The latest technology to increase the amount of clean energy flowing in San Diego and south Orange County. Whether it is private rooftop solar, energy storage, electric vehicles, or energy management devices at homes and businesses, customers want more tools and choices.

  • The company is proposing to install software and grid-sensing technologies that will help integrate and increase these clean choices.

The filing also covers the day-to-day operating expenses to run the business. SDG&E has a highly trained, responsive team that is the reason the company delivers clean, safe, reliable energy to every home and business in San Diego and south Orange Counties. This rate request allows the company to attract and retain the most talented energy professionals, so they can continue delivering the reliable energy and superior service SDG&E customers deserve.

Next steps

The Commission will decide how much SDG&E will be able to collect for years 2019-2022. Rates are determined through a formal proceeding called a regulatory rate review, which is a public process led by the CPUC to determine energy rates and what customers pay. A rigorous and thorough review of the filing will be conducted through regulators, including public participation meetings. The company has requested a final decision by the end of 2018.

To learn more about the request and the SDG&E’s plans to ensure long-term reliability and safety for the region’s future, check out this short video: