SAN DIEGO, August 2, 2012 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has received the 2012 POWER Smart Grid Award from POWER magazine for launching one of the most ambitious and comprehensive smart grid deployment programs in the nation. With this award, SDG&E solidifies its place as a national leader in transforming the electric grid into a smart grid by using new technology to enhance reliability, integrate renewable energy and provide untold benefits to customers.
“SDG&E is truly honored to receive the 2012 POWER Smart Grid Award from one of the leading publications in the energy industry,” said Jim Avery, senior vice president for power supply at SDG&E. “I commend all of our employees and customers for helping us adopt the smart grid and connect to all the amazing benefits it can bring to the region. This advanced network is the key to unlocking the full potential of renewable energy while maintaining reliability, and offering customers more choice, convenience and control of their energy usage.”
The article announcing the award in POWER magazine recognizes SDG&E’s efforts to implement an operational smart grid in its service territory and describes in great detail the many programs that are part of SDG&E’s ambitious smart grid deployment plan. This plan calls for an investment of $3.5 billion from 2006 through 2020, which will result in between $3.8 and $7.1 billion in related benefits and newfound efficiencies.
At the heart of this deployment plan is SDG&E’s smart meter program that has completed installation of nearly all 1.4 million smart meters and upgrades to about 850,000 gas meters in the utility’s service territory. These meters are a foundational, enabling technology that leads to greater energy efficiency and more options for customers.
With the smart meters in place, SDG&E has been able offer several innovative programs and technologies that give customers the ability to conserve energy and save money. For example, SDG&E is partnering with customers to promote energy efficiency through the “Green Button,” a new online tool that provides customers with easy access to up to 13 months of detailed energy consumption data and encourages conservation. The smart meters also provide the technological flexibility for the recently-launched “Reduce Your Use” campaign, offered to most residential and small business customers. This program provides monetary incentives to customers that save during critical peak events and will help alleviate the summer energy shortage due to the safety outage at the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station.
POWER magazine also highlights SDG&E’s efforts to encourage the use of plug-in electric vehicles that have helped San Diego lead the nation by bringing more than 1,600 emissions-free vehicles to its streets. In addition, the magazine describes how SDG&E is using the smart grid to integrate renewable solar and wind energy, which are intermittent by nature and require new technology to account for fluctuations in supply.
To test many of these smart grid programs, SDG&E has launched the Borrego Springs Microgrid, which is the largest project of its kind the nation and will interconnect battery energy storage, local generation and automated switches to create a more robust, self-sustaining grid that can manage outages and enhance local reliability.
POWER magazine pinpoints these and other programs as key reasons for SDG&E’s ascent in the smart grid realm. While providing one of the most comprehensive descriptions of SDG&E’s programs to date, the award is not the first national recognition that SDG&E has received in this area. In fact, SDG&E has been named “Most Intelligent Utility” for three years in a row by Intelligent Utility Magazine and received the “Top Ten Utility” award for excellence in smart grid development from Greentech Media. All of these recognitions demonstrate that SDG&E is fast becoming the national leader in implementing a comprehensive smart grid program throughout its service territory for the benefit of residents.
The article announcing the 2012 POWER Smart Grid Award and describing SDG&E’s smart grid programs can be found on POWER magazine’s website. A related press release is also available.
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 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The utility’s area spans 4,100 square miles. SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help customers save energy and money every day. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego.