More than 4,100 residences at mobile home parks throughout the region now enjoy improved utility service as well as more control over their energy usage, thanks to the Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade Program.
Since the program’s approval by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) in 2014, we have completed the installation of individual gas and electric meters at over 12 percent of the mobile home spaces in San Diego and southern Orange counties. There are also seven active projects planned in which an additional 1,010 mobile home spaces will receive an upgrade by the end of the first quarter in 2020.
Before upgrades, 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.
Because residents in participating locations now have direct service from SDG&E as opposed to indirect service from a master meter, they also have the advantages that come along with it, such as access to SDG&E’s online energy management tools, energy efficiency programs and self-service options.
Due to the increased focus, targeted outreach, and high engagement with the Mobile Home Park program, many more residents in participating parks are now informed about customer assistance programs and are taking advantage of them. Enrollment in the CARE/FERA bill discount program grew by 20%, and enrollment in Medical Baseline bill discount program doubled.
Modernizing Outdated Infrastructure
Most of the meter systems found in mobile parks were 30 to 40 years old. A few were perhaps even 70 years old. These systems had reached the end of their useful life.
As our mobile home park conversion team goes about their work replacing outdated infrastructure and conducting appliance checks, they have encountered and addressed safety issues with old and broken valves, improper grounding, and various potential hazards from old meter sets.
Since the inception of the program, we have been carefully tracking customer feedback. The MHP program has received an 82% satisfaction rate from residents, and a 91% satisfaction rate from park owners/managers. We are committed to maintaining the momentum.
“From a property management standpoint, we found the Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade Program to be very beneficial in providing up-to-date utility services for all residents,” said Joseph Altman, property manager for The Palms Mobilehome Park located in El Cajon. “It also helped reduce liability from maintenance and repair issues that were present with the old utility system. We are pleased with the results and would recommend the program to other parks.”
Given the success of the program in achieving safety and reliability benefits, SDG&E has filed a formal request with the CPUC to make the MHP Program permanent. SDG&E is currently awaiting a decision from the Commission regarding this request. For more information on the program, watch this video.