Safety Guidelines and
COVID-19 Resources for Businesses

Small Business Owner

We understand that many businesses — and especially small businesses — are facing new and unforeseen challenges due to COVID-19. To help during this difficult time, SDG&E voluntarily suspended service disconnections for nonpayment and waived late fees. As the state and businesses begin to reopen, we'll help you do so safely and effectively. 

If you are having trouble paying your bill, we are offering flexible payment arrangements. Customers can call our Business Care Center at  1-800-336-7343 to make payment arrangements, get energy-saving tips and discuss pricing plans. Click here for more information about our Response to COVID-19 for our residential customers.


Safety Guidelines for Outdoor Operations

Now more than ever, it’s important to do our part to keep our communities and the people and business within them safe. Businesses like yours are part of the heartbeat of our community, driving economic growth and shaping the future of our region. Keep these essential safety tips in mind as your businesses move outdoors so you can do so safely, and without interfering with SDG&E’s ability to provide all customers with safe and reliable energy and service.​

View our Business Safety Fact Sheet

During business hours

  1. All business equipment (signs, posters, banners, decorations, wires, lighting fixtures, ropes, chairs, tables, etc.):
    • Keep at least a 3-foot clearance from  utility equipment at all times.
    • Do not place outdoor dining  chairs, tables, parklets and other items on top of underground facilities, or block access to poles and other utility infrastructure.
    • SDG&E will provide advanced notice for planned work that may require access to specific facilities during business hours.
    •  If essential operation is required on any electrical facilities, a full 8-foot clearance will be required and all nearby equipment must be readily available to move by an SDG&E employee without any legal actions for damaging equipment owned by the establishment.
  2. Utility poles:
    • Keep at least a 3-foot clearance from utility equipment at all times  for readily available access in the event of an emergency or essential maintenance.
    • If only SDG&E wire is attached to a pole, then no clearance is necessary up to the pole (i.e. a large grey box/device around the top of the pole versus a pole with only wires attached)

Outside of business hours

  • Keep at least an 8-foot clearance from utility equipment at all times  for readily available access in the event of an emergency or essential maintenance, and all nearby equipment must be readily available to move by an SDG&E employee without any legal actions for damaging equipment owned by the establishment.
  • All business equipment must be clear of poles, pad-mounted equipment, and subsurface structures as normally identified in the case of emergency or scheduled work.

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Pre-Construction Safety

If you plan to do any excavating, call 811 at least two business days before digging to have underground lines marked. Failing to do so could create a hazardous situation. 

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Maintenance &
Emergency Response

Blocking utility infrastructure like manholes, transformers and gas meters could create delays in emergency response. Allow 24-hour access to these areas.

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Equipment & Power Line

Never store equipment or set up business fixtures within 10 feet of power lines. And if you are using balloons outdoors as decoration, keep them securely fastened to avoid contact with power lines.

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Outdoor Heaters

Keep outdoor heaters away from flammable items like canopies, tents, trees and other items to prevent fire hazards. Secure outdoor heaters with sandbags to keep them from tilting.

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Power Cord Safety

Avoid overloading extension cords and make sure to use one extension cord per outlet. Check power cords regularly to ensure they are in working condition and without fraying.

Loan and Capital Assistance Programs

Additional Resources

We understand that many businesses still have to pay for ongoing business expenses during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a business customer, we at SDG&E want to help you through these difficult times. Below are several resources that we have put in one place to assist your organization in navigating through this unprecedented time. 

Is Your Business on the Right Rate Plan?  
Find the right plan for your business and view our pricing plan comparison in My Account. You’ll see annual costs estimates based on your past 12 months of electricity use.

Payment Arrangements for your Utility Bill
If you are having difficulty paying your energy bill, you can request a payment arrangement online through My Account or call our Business Care Center at 1-800-336-7343. 

Community Organizations & Chambers Resource List
Download this list of additional resources and links that you may find helpful to aid your business in remaining open, or as you look to reopen. 

We can help your business reopen by connecting you to suppliers for PPE
Supplier Quick Pay Program (SQPP) 

Are you a small business with a direct contract with SDG&E? Learn how SDG&E can improve your cash flow and working capital. Qualified suppliers can get paid faster with payment terms of net 15, no discounts. Please complete the Supplier Quick Pay Program (SQPP) enrollment form.   

Connect with Suppliers for PPE 

Download this resource list of suppliers offering Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), which also includes local small businesses in San Diego offering PPE.  


Our Energy Innovation Center offers many free online courses to help you and your employees learn the latest in energy management and technology. Class topics include:

  • Building Codes and Standards
  • HVAC and Refrigeration
  • Renewables and Self-Generation

Learn more

SDG&E's Webinar Series

We are working with other organizations to host webinars to help our local businesses navigate through the pandemic and connect small and diverse vendors to our procurement and contracting opportunities. View videos of past webinars below.

The Power of Social Media
Work, Life, Balance
Subcontracting Goals and Reporting