SOURCE: Sempra Energy

March 20, 2008 15:47 ET

Southern California Gas Co., SDG&E Launch Program to Reduce Fleet Emissions by 15 Percent

LOS ANGELES, CA--(Marketwire - March 20, 2008) - Supporting California's goals for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions, Southern California Gas Co. (The Gas Company) and San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today announced a program to reduce the greenhouse-gas emissions of their fleet vehicles approximately 15 percent by 2012.

While vehicles only account for about 5 percent of the utilities' greenhouse-gas emissions, from a statewide perspective the transportation sector is responsible for about 40 percent of overall emissions. A 15-percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions from The Gas Company and SDG&E vehicles, when compared to 2005 levels, equates to removing about 2,400 gasoline-fueled vehicles from the road.

"Our goal is to achieve measurable greenhouse-gas-emission reductions that will not only minimize our carbon footprint, but will help advance the environmental goals of the state," said Margot Kyd, vice president of supply management at The Gas Company and SDG&E.

To reach their 15-percent reduction goal, the utilities will replace company passenger vehicles with hybrid-electric and compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, and implement a fleet-efficiency and optimization program aimed at improving fuel efficiency and driving habits.

Currently, the two utilities operate 450 passenger vehicles. As these vehicles reach the end of their useful lives, they will be replaced with CNG and hybrid-electric vehicles. The alternative-fueled vehicles should reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from 20 percent to 50 percent compared with conventional gasoline-fueled vehicles.

"The voluntary action by SDG&E and The Gas Company to replace their vehicle fleet with alternative-fueled vehicles is commendable," said San Diego County Supervisor Ron Roberts, who serves on the board of the San Diego Air Pollution Control District and the California Air Resources Board.

In 2008, The Gas Company and SDG&E will put into service 40 new Honda CNG Civics and 60 new Toyota Priuses. These will be added to a fleet that already includes nearly 1,150 alternative-fueled vehicles, mostly light-duty customer-service trucks. The utilities also are considering the use of other clean-fuel alternatives, such as bio-gas.

Additionally, The Gas Company and SDG&E will provide employees with eco-driving training on how to maximize fuel efficiency both on and off the job. Research shows that preventative measures like proper tire inflation and proper maintenance can play an important role in reducing fuel usage by up to 12 percent.

The expected fuel savings from the program will help pay for the incremental costs of purchasing additional alternative-fuel vehicles. Since 2005, the two utilities have achieved about a 6-percent reduction in gasoline and diesel-fuel usage in their fleet vehicles.

The Gas Company is the nation's largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 20.3 million consumers through 5.7 million meters. 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 830,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The Gas Company and SDG&E are subsidiaries of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.

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