SOURCE: Southern California Gas Company

February 22, 2008 14:11 ET

The Gas Company(SM) Recognized by U.S. Green Building Council for Environmentally Friendly Facility Renovations

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - February 22, 2008) - Southern California Gas Co.'s (The Gas Company) efforts to renovate its operational facilities in the most energy-efficient and environmentally responsible way have earned the utility "Gold" certification from the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) program.

The LEED Green Building Rating System® is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. It is a voluntary, third-party rating system where credits are earned for incorporating state-of-the-art strategies in sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Silver, Gold and Platinum certification are awarded based on the total credits earned.

In 2004, The Gas Company began office renovations at its Monterey Park facility to transform a nearly 50-year-old workplace into a world-class environment that combines operational efficiency with organizational effectiveness.

"Through innovative technologies and design, we were able to build an office environment that is more space-efficient, minimizes the use of energy for heating and lighting and optimizes the use of water," said Pamela J. Fair, vice president of environmental, safety and facilities at The Gas Company. "As a result, we have reduced water use by 30 percent, improved indoor air quality dramatically and introduced daylight to 90 percent of the workspace for our employees."

The Gas Company's Monterey Park facility handles bill processing, employee training, fleet services and telecommunications, as well as some warehouse operations. The Gas Company completely gutted and rebuilt the 29,000-square foot second floor of its major office space on the campus. All accessible hazardous materials were removed and replaced with environmentally friendly building systems and furnishings.

During the project, more than 75 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills and back into manufacturing processes, recycling, and/or reuse programs. The building products employed contained at least 20-percent recycled content. More than 20 percent of the products were manufactured regionally and, by incorporating the use of renewable materials, the project reduced its impact on the environment.

"Once again, The Gas Company has demonstrated its leadership in the field of green building and sustainability," said Lance Williams, executive director of the Los Angeles branch of the U. S. Green Building Council. "This is a company that has historically practiced what it preaches, beginning with its Energy Resource Center in Downey, Calif., which became the first LEED®-certified building in this region a decade ago."

The Gas Company's Monterey Park office is the utility's fourth LEED®-certified facility. The others include the aforementioned Energy Resource Center and customer service bases in Murrieta and Hawthorne. The Gas Company also was recognized in 2007 by the International Interior Design Association with its Environmental Award.

Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 20.1 million consumers through 5.6 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company's service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles in diverse terrain throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. The Gas Company is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.

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