Natural Gas Service Options

 Natural gas customers have the option to purchase their natural gas supplies from gas service providers.

Information on Natural Gas Services and Programs

  • Customer Choice is available to all customers.

  • Participating in Customer Choice allows core customers to shop and compare gas suppliers (ESPs) and services.

  • Although ESPs are not regulated by the CPUC, they must meet certain CPUC-approved requirements.

  • Customer Choice participants have more flexibility to negotiate specific terms and rates for their gas supplies and other services.

  • Customer Choice participants may or may not realize savings, depending on terms negotiated with the ESP.

  • Customer Choice participants continue to receive reliable SDG&E non-procurement services

For more detailed information about the Core Aggregation Transportation program, click here.

Please send your question to [email protected].

Disclaimer information

Sempra Energy Solutions, LLC and Sempra Energy Trading, LLC, are not the same company as the utility, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) and Sempra Energy Trading, LLC and Sempra Energy Solutions, LLC, are not regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission.

California gas industry restructuring began in 1988, when the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued the first of many rate design changes in an effort to open the natural gas market to competition.

The first change separated the California gas market into core and noncore customer segments, depending on the customer's load, end-use priority, and economic ability to use alternative fuels.

The noncore customers were provided with the ability to elect natural gas service from a Gas Service Provider (GSP)  instead of the utility. The utility still provides these customers with the transportation of the gas across its distribution system to the customer's meter.

In 1991 additional rate design changes were implemented. One of those changes gives core customers the ability to elect commodity services from GSPs through a Core Aggregation Transportation (CAT) program. Other significant changes have been implemented which opened interstate pipeline capacity and gas storage services to competition.

The road to gas industry restructuring has not reached its end. We anticipate continued rate design changes to occur in order for the CPUC to reach its ultimate goal of providing all gas customers with a greater competitive gas marketplace.

Current definition of gas customer segments

Core Customers

Core customers include all residential, regardless of load size, commercial customers with annual loads below 250,000 therms, and those commercial customers with annual loads above 250,000 therms who elect to receive the higher reliability associated with core service.

Noncore Customers

Noncore customers are Commercial & Industrial customers having gas consumption through a single meter, which is equal to or greater than an annual monthly average of 20,800 therms and elect noncore gas transportation service. All customers using gas for electric generation or cogeneration are eligible to elect noncore gas transportation service, regardless of use.

To Become A Participating Gas Service Provider

Please send your questions to [email protected].

Receiving your natural gas service from a third-party Gas Service Provider (GSP) is serviced through the Core Aggregation Transportation Service.

Core Aggregation Transportation (CAT)

The CAT program gives customers the option to purchase natural gas from gas marketers, also known as aggregators. The following customers are eligible for the program.

  • Customers using 250,000 therms or less per year

  • Residential customers

  • Natural gas vehicle customers

Signing Up for Service

If you are interested in receiving Core Aggregation Transportation Service, first contact a Gas Service Provider (GSP) and discuss your options.

If you decide on this service, the GSP will submit a gas direct access service request (DASR) to SDG&E to switch your account to the Customer Choice Program.

Your GSP will need the following:

  • Billing account

  • Meter number

  • Service address

You can find this information at the top of your SDG&E bill.

Residential customers have 30 days after they receive their first bill from their supplier to cancel their enrollment in the CAT program.  Contact your service provider or SDG&E to request a termination of third party gas services.

Changing to a Different Gas Service Provider

Initially, customers commit to participate in the Customer Choice Program for one year. After the first year, customers can switch to a different GSP or return to SDG&E procurement services. The agreement with your GSP should outline any cancellation process and conditions.

If your GSP terminates service to customers or goes out of business, you will return to SDG&E’s procurement service.

90 Days Termination and Switch Conditions

Customers have up to 90 days from the termination effective date to switch to another GSP. After 90 days, if the customer has not chosen a new GSP, the customer must continue to receive gas procurement service from SDG&E for a total of 12 months before being eligible to return to service under the Customer Choice program.

Terms and Conditions

These programs are approved by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) and may be modified or terminated at any time. The CAT Program is subject to Tariff Rule No. 32 and other applicable tariffs and CPUC decisions that are in effect from time to time.

Noncore Gas Transportation Service

Eligibility

Noncore customers are Commercial & Industrial customers that have actual (or projected with verifiable documentation) consumption through a single meter equal to or greater than an annual monthly average of 20,800 therms and elect noncore gas transportation service.

All customers using gas for electric generation (EG) or cogeneration are eligible to elect noncore gas transportation service, regardless of use. EG customers whose annual gas use is equal to or less than 250,000 therms are eligible to elect core service under SDG&E’s Schedule GN-3. EG customers with electric generation capacity less than or equal to one megawatt are eligible for core service, regardless of use.

Requirements

All customers electing noncore gas transportation service are required to submit a completed Noncore Gas Transportation Service Contract (Form 142-1259). If you don't know your account number or gas meter number, contact your Account Executive or SDG&E’s Business Contact Center at 1-800-336-7343.  Please ensure you've included the "primary" and "alternate" gas curtailment contact names, phone numbers and email addresses.  Noncore customers are required to keep SDG&E informed of any changes to the gas curtailment contact information.  SDG&E will counter sign the contract and return a copy to the customer for its records.

All customers electing noncore gas transportation service are required to install, at the customer’s expense, an automated meter reading (AMR) device which enables SDG&E/SoCalGas to remotely read the customer’s meter. See SDG&E’s Gas Rule 27

Noncore customers must either accept responsibility for managing their own gas procurement, scheduling, balancing, and certain transportation needs independently or through an assigned agent or arrange to have these needs fully managed by a Contracted Marketer (“CM”).  List of Noncore Gas Service Providers.

Terms and Conditions

The general terms and service conditions applying to noncore gas transportation service are described in the Noncore Gas Transportation Service Contract and SDG&E's Gas Rule 25. Customers with multiple meters qualifying for noncore service must complete a separate agreement for each meter.

Eligible noncore customers can transfer to core service. Noncore customers electing to transfer to core transportation-only service or to bundled core service are required to make a five-year commitment to core service. Noncore customers electing to transfer to bundled core service under SDG&E’s Schedule GN-3 will be charged the “cross-over” gas procurement rate contained in SDG&E's Schedule GN-3 for the first year of the required five-year commitment.

Gas Curtailment Responsibilities

SDG&E gas customers will be curtailed in accordance with the provisions of SDG&E’s Gas Rule 14

Noncore service priorities are described in SDG&E’s Gas Rule 14 and are based on the end-use of the noncore customer with differentiations made between CA Independent System Operator (CAISO)-dispatched electric generators and non-CAISO-dispatched noncore customers (Cogeneration, non-CAISO-dispatched EG, Noncore C&I). 

For non-CAISO-dispatched noncore customers, Curtailment Baseline Quantities (CBQs) will be established annually as a customer’s peak day consumption in summer (April through October) and in winter (November through March) within the previous 24 months. In the event a customer doesn't have 24 months of operating history, the customer’s CBQ may be estimated. 

In the event of a noncore gas curtailment, the authorized maximum hourly allowed use for non-CAISO-dispatched noncore customers will be equal to a percentage of their CBQ divided by 24 hours, as specified by SDG&E.

Curtailment violation penalties will be applied to all consumption that exceeds a customer’s maximum hourly allowed usage.  Noncore customers who fail to curtail when ordered by the utility, shall be subject to a $5 per therm per hour, plus the daily balancing standby rate defined in Schedule G-IMB, for each therm consumed during the curtailment period, in addition to the charges under the customer's applicable rate schedule.

Questions

If you have any questions about your noncore gas service options, please feel free to contact your SDG&E's Account Executive or email SDG&E Gas Customer Choice.