Thousands of mobile home residents now enjoy upgraded utility service and more control over their energy use because of an expanding program to upgrade their aging gas and electric systems.
To date, our Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade Program has modernized more than 2,700 mobile homes with individual, gas and electric meters that are professionally installed according to current codes and standards. Before the upgrade, residents received electricity and natural gas service via a single master meter at their mobile home park. From the master meter, their park’s privately owned and maintained distribution systems served each resident’s mobile home through a sub-meter.
In addition to enhanced safety and reliability that comes with modern infrastructure, these residents now have access to money saving programs that they didn’t qualify for previously due to a lack of an individual SDG&E meter. Programs such as free energy-efficient home improvements and SDG&E’s MyAccount online portal which provides tools to easily manage energy usage and bills.
Aggressive Construction Schedule
The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) first approved the voluntary pilot mobile home park program in 2014, allowing utilities statewide to replace aging energy distribution systems owned and operated by mobile home park owners.
In just over two years, our master meter team took the program from a high-level outline in a Commission decision to one of our company’s most important safety capital projects.
Given the unique challenges of this program, reaching the full 10 percent conversion target authorized by the CPUC was originally seen as more of a stretch goal. Fast forward three years: under a very aggressive construction schedule, there are now 2,700 units converted, representing over 8.2 percent of mobile home park spaces in our service territory comprising San Diego and South Orange counties. We expect to reach the 10 percent conversion target, or 3,300 mobile homes converted to individual metered service later this year.
Safety, Collaboration and Satisfaction
Beyond the number of upgrades completed to date, we are most proud of our safety record, high customer satisfaction, and collaboration with many stakeholders, including the mobile home residents, park owners, and various inspection authorities.
To date, more than 250,000 employee and contractor hours have been recorded on the project with zero safety incidents. Customer satisfaction has been steadily increasing throughout the work, with the most recent survey showing that 84 percent of residents were either satisfied or very satisfied with the conversions.
Due to the program’s success, we filed a request with the CPUC in 2017 to seek permission to upgrade an additional 20 percent of qualifying mobile home spaces through 2023. A decision regarding this request is pending.