SOURCE: San Diego Gas & Electric

San Diego Gas & Electric

June 03, 2009 16:13 ET

SDG&E Expects to Meet Summer Power Demand

Conservation, Demand-response Programs Still Critical

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - June 3, 2009) - San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today said it has lined up adequate electricity supplies and required reserves to meet customers' expected energy needs this summer, barring extreme weather conditions.

Weather forecasters predict another mild summer this year in Southern California. Both the California Independent System Operator (Cal-ISO) and California Energy Commission have projected that there should be ample power supply to meet peak demand across the state -- even with hotter-than-average temperatures.

"The weather is always the wild card, but we got through last summer without a single power emergency or alert from the Cal-ISO," said David L. Geier, vice president of electric transmission and distribution for SDG&E. "The conditions this summer are expected to be similar to last year, which is good news from the standpoint of keeping the lights on for our customers, but we always have to be ready for the unexpected heat wave or system problem."

Statewide, nearly 1,500 megawatts (MW) of new generation resources have been added and more than 10,000 MW of imported power should be available this summer, according to the Cal-ISO.

Additionally, SDG&E's new 46-MW quick-start "peaker" plant is expected to come online this summer in the Miramar area of San Diego to help meet the demand during peak hours on hot days. The plant, fueled by clean natural gas, is located next to a similar SDG&E unit that went into service in 2005. SDG&E also has made a number of reliability upgrades to its system since last summer that should help to avoid heat-related power outages, Geier said.

"While the power outlook looks good from a statewide perspective, SDG&E is sometimes in a difficult position because of constraints in the region's electric grid," said Jim Detmers, vice president of grid operations for Cal-ISO. "Should SDG&E experience transmission problems, the ISO and SDG&E may call upon customers to conserve energy, if the summer is hotter than expected."

"Conservation and demand-response programs not only will help our customers save money, but they also help us reduce our environmental impact by using less energy and, at the same time, limit the strain on the electric grid," said Geier. "The more customers participate in demand-response programs, the less likely we'll need to call on additional power plants."

SDG&E continues to enroll business and residential customers into the utility's demand-response programs, which offer financial incentives for reducing electricity use during times of high demand. Thus far, SDG&E has been able to accumulate 68 MW in reduced power commitments from business and residential customers this summer.

SDG&E offers its customers free home energy- and water-savings kits. The kits include three faucet aerators and a low-flow showerhead. These easy-to-install items maintain a high-pressure flow while reducing water volume.

SDG&E provides other energy-conservation tips, including:

--  Turn off unneeded lights, computers and appliances when not in use.
--  Set thermostats at 78 degrees when at home and 85 degrees when away.
--  Use major appliances before 11 a.m. or after 7 p.m. and unplug small
    appliances when not in use.
--  Check weather-stripping around doors and caulking around windows.
    Properly sealed doors and windows help prevent warm outside air from
    entering the home.
--  Close blinds, shades or drapes during the hottest part of the day to
    block out the sun's heat.
--  Install low-flow, water-saving shower heads to cut water use and save
    5 percent to 10 percent on water heating costs.
--  Save up to 10 percent of hot water costs by washing full laundry loads
    in cold water.
--  Wash full loads in the dishwasher.
--  Fix leaky faucets.  One drop of hot water per second can waste 2,500
    gallons per year.
    

For more energy-saving tips to use throughout the year visit www.sdge.com/residential or call (800) 411-SDGE (7343).

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.4 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 840,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles. Exceptional customer service is a priority of SDG&E as it seeks to enhance the region's quality of life. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Sabra Moallem
    San Diego Gas & Electric
    (877) 866-2066
    www.sdge.com