SDG&E Prepared to Meet Customers' Energy Needs this Summer

System conditions could lead to events that may require conservation from customers

SAN DIEGO, July 7, 2017 – Today, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced that sufficient electricity supplies have been secured to meet the energy needs of the region this summer. Every year, SDG&E prepares for the summer by investing in infrastructure improvements to ensure the system is resilient and prepared for extreme weather conditions, a transmission system emergency or the upcoming solar eclipse – this year is no different. Customers can do their part to conserve by participating in programs that will help save energy while helping to build a sustainable future.

“With local temperatures trending higher than average, including record-setting temperatures in our deserts, we are working to ensure our customers have the tools and resources they need at their fingertips to make smarter energy decisions,” said Caroline Winn, chief operating officer for SDG&E. “No matter what your personal energy-savings goals are at home, we hope our customers are taking advantage of the wide array of programs we offer to help you save both money and energy.”

 Every year in the months leading up to summer, SDG&E collaborates with the California Independent System Operator (CAISO) on plans for delivering a reliable supply of energy to its customers. The CAISO’s role is to ensure electric system stability and electric supply throughout the state of California, and SDG&E is in constant communication with them to ensure close coordination.

Over the past year, SDG&E has completed multiple electric transmission system enhancements that have strengthened the system, while providing voltage support on the grid, all key elements to reliability. Some of these projects include:

  • High Voltage Power Grid Upgrades: Innovative machines called synchronous condensers have been added to help control sudden increases or decreases in power as generating sources change continuously based on availability and need. These machines are making the electric system more stable and reliable for the region, with four added since summer 2016. Two new synchronous condensers were installed in Oceanside, Calif. enhancing reliability for 40,000 customers in North County San Diego; another two were added in the South County San Diego neighborhood of Bonita.  
  • World's Largest Lithium-Ion Battery Storage: Earlier this year, SDG&E unveiled this state-of-the-art energy storage facility in Escondido, Calif., which will improve regional energy reliability while maximizing renewable energy use. The 30 megawatt (MW) energy storage facility can store up to 120 MW hours of energy, the equivalent of serving 20,000 customers for four hours. A smaller, 7.5 MW facility was also added in El Cajon, Calif.

These new facilities are timely given the rapidly evolving energy landscape. In Southern California, daily energy demand is changing. After mid-day solar power peaks and begins to fade and drop off, it leads to a sharp spike in evening demand.  Energy storage and natural gas-fueled plants provide needed reliability when renewable sources like wind and solar are not available.

Note: Chart demonstrating solar generation versus energy consumption.

Ways to save money and save energy

 Home and business owners can visit SDG&E’s Marketplace, to shop, compare prices and find participating businesses to purchase energy-efficient products. Through Marketplace, choosing a smart thermostat has never been so easy. Beginning June 29, homeowners who buy a Nest or Ecobee smart thermostat will qualify for a $50 rebate. Customers who then sign up and remain on the Reduce your Use program through the summer will qualify for an additional $75, bringing the total rebate to $125.

With a smart thermostat, customers can take advantage of SDG&E’s Reduce Your Use Thermostat program and participate in “event days” where they are called on to conserve energy through the Reduce Your Use rewards program. Participants can opt-in to receive an email, text, or voice alert when the program is triggered and may qualify to earn a credit on their bill.

SDG&E also recommends these tips to save on energy use and costs, especially during the times of highest energy demand.

  • Adjust your thermostat. Set it to 78F for summer AC.
  • Avoid charging your electric vehicle during peak demand hours.
  • Do loads of laundry during off-peak hours.
  • Run your dishwasher earlier in the day, or late at night.
  • Use smart strips or unplug items when not in use.
  • Replace regular light bulbs with compact fluorescent or LEDs.
  • Use motion sensors on outdoor lighting to save up to 50% of lighting costs.
  • Seal and insulate your home to keep the cool air in during summer.
  • Lower your water temperature or try a cold water wash with clothes, especially if you have an electric water heater.
  • Change out a single speed pool pump to a variable speed one.

For more energy-saving tips, visit sdge.com/save-money or call 800-411-7343. 

SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides safe, reliable, clean energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. More than 4,000 employees work to provide the cleanest, safest and most reliable energy in the West. The company was the first to meet California’s goal of delivering 33 percent of energy from renewable sources, has fueled the adoption of electric vehicles and energy efficiency through unique customer programs, and supports a number of non-profit partners. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.

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