Questions and Answers About the Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade Program
How did the Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade Program come about?
In February 2011, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) granted a petition filed by the Western Manufactured Housing Communities Association (WMA) to open a rulemaking proceeding to examine what could be done to encourage owners of mobilehome parks (MHPs) to upgrade aging energy systems in an effort to enhance both public safety and service reliability for MHP residents.
On March 13, 2014, the CPUC approved Decision 14-03-021, establishing the Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade Program. This pilot program authorizes the transfer of up to 10% of the mobile homes in master-metered/submetered MHPs to direct utility service for natural gas and electricity.
What will the program do?
This pilot program authorizes funding – and directs each investor-owned utility – to convert master-metered/submetered mobilehome parks to direct utility service for natural gas and electricity. Enough parks will be converted to cover approximately 10% of the mobile homes for each utility.
How many mobile homes may participate in SDG&E’s pilot program?
Currently, 305 MHPs in our service area have an SDG&E master meter with MHP-owned/operated submeters. These 305 qualifying MHPs are eligible to participate in the pilot program in our service area. However, all interested MHP owners were asked to file a CPUC Form of Intent with the CPUC Safety and Enforcement Division (SED) between Jan. 1 and April 1, 2015, in order for their MHP to be considered for the program.
Funds are available to convert approximately 3,300 of the 33,073 mobile home spaces in these 305 MHPs to reach the 10% target. In order to be eligible, all the residences in the park would need to be converted.
Recreational vehicle parks and recreational vehicle spaces within MHPs are not eligible for this program.
For MHP owners, what are the benefits of converting to direct natural gas and/or electric utility service?
For participating MHP owners, the benefits of converting to direct utility service for natural gas and/or electricity include:
- Safety and reliability. MHP owners will get new, professionally installed energy distribution systems that will enhance safety and service reliability for residents and the community.
- Peace of mind. MHP owners will no longer have to maintain privately owned, submetered gas/electric distribution systems. The owner of each space – usually the MHP owner or, in some cases, the resident – will still be responsible for maintaining gas/electric lines from the resident’s meter to the resident’s space.
- Saving time and effort. MHP owners will no longer have to read gas/electric meters, bill residents or respond to questions about utility service and programs. We’ll handle all that.
- Little or no cost. The program covers the costs of installing utility service from the current master meter and to each mobile home.
For MHP residents, what are the benefits of converting to direct natural gas and/or electric utility service?
For participating MHP residents, the benefits of converting to direct utility service include:
- Safety and reliability. MHPs will get new, professionally installed energy distribution systems that will enhance safety and service reliability for residents and the community.
- Enhanced customer service. MHP residents will be able to use our online services and speak to an energy services specialist about their energy use questions or concerns.
- Enhanced electric service. With utility electric service at 100 amps, residents may be able to add electric appliances such as air conditioners that wouldn’t work with the current electric submetered service.
- Access to cost-saving programs. MHP residents will be able to take advantage of energy-efficiency programs and many other services we offer.
- Service deposit waived. We’ll waive our customer credit check and service deposits upon transfer to direct utility service.
How are participants chosen?
This program is available to all eligible MHP owners and managers. Because the program is voluntary, the MHP owner needed to apply by submitting the CPUC Form of Intent during the open enrollment period, from Jan. 1 to April 1, 2015. One intent form for each MHP location had to be filed with the CPUC’s Safety and Enforcement Division (SED), with a copy to SDG&E.
The CPUC SED and the California Department of Housing and Community Development (HCD) were responsible for selecting MHP pilot participants from among the qualified applicants, and prioritizing applicants based on safety and reliability needs. The CPUC SED was specifically responsible for prioritizing natural gas systems and the HCD for prioritizing electric systems.
Selection as a participant does not guarantee that your MHP will be converted.
What happened to the intent forms that were submitted after the April 1 deadline?
MHPs that miss the April 1, 2015, deadline are placed on a waiting list. Submittal of a CPUC Form of Intent or placement on the waiting list does not guarantee conversion of an MHP to direct natural gas and/or electric utility service.
When will MHP owners find out if their MHPs have been selected to participate in the program?
The CPUC SED and the HCD have completed the prioritization process. As of June 2015, MHP owners have been notified by the CPUC and SDG&E regarding their participation status.
For questions regarding the selection process, please contact the CPUC.
After an MHP is chosen to participate, what are the next steps?
SDG&E will assign a dedicated Account Executive who will serve as the MHP owner’s direct point of contact. The SDG&E Account Executive will assist with:
- Completing a more detailed MHP application requiring specific information and supporting documents about each participating MHP.
- Completing and signing a standard conversion pilot program agreement.
- Arranging resident information meetings.
- Coordinating various construction related activities, including park assessment and construction impacts.
- Answering general questions.
What supporting documents will MHP owners need to provide with their detailed MHP applications?
For each application, the MHP owner must include:
- A list of current mobile home owners and residents
- Services documents, including but not limited to as-builts
- Single line diagram for facilities with Self-Generation
- Additional Infrastructure drawings that detail park substructures (e.g. water, sewer, drainage, irrigation lines, telephone, cable television, data lines, fuel lines, etc.)
- Site Plan showing scaled drawings of MHP
- Tract map showing all easements, right-of-ways, property lines, MH spaces, assessor’s parcel number, etc.
When do MHP owners need to submit the detailed application and required supporting documents for each MHP?
The deadline for MHP owners to submit the detailed application with required supporting documents is 45 days after notification of acceptance in the pilot program. Failure to provide the required documentation within such time period may disqualify an MHP from participating in the program.
If an MHP is selected for program participation, when will conversion construction work be scheduled?
Depending on the total number of MHPs that have been selected for program participation, the waiting period may be up to two years.
Who is responsible for hiring qualified, licensed contractors for construction from the new resident meters (including the new meter pedestals) to the individual mobile homes?
SDG&E is responsible for removing the master meter and constructing new energy distribution lines up to the new metering equipment near every mobile home. The MHP owner is responsible for selecting a qualified, licensed contractor to install the new utility-approved metering equipment (including the new meter pedestals) and do work as needed to connect the individual mobile homes to the new metered service. SDG&E can provide assistance during the contractor selection process. We’ll also review the MHP selection of a contractor. All “beyond the meter/pedestal” construction would be subject to permitting and inspection requirements of appropriate agencies having that authority.
Who owns or is responsible for the energy distribution system(s) after conversion?
The MHP owner will install and own metering equipment at each mobile home space. SDG&E will install and own the distribution lines up to the MHP metering equipment and will install and own each meter. If the mobile home is connected directly to the metering equipment, those lines will be owned by the mobile home owner.
How are MHP environmental issues addressed under this pilot program?
Responsibility for any remediation or resolution of environmental issues will remain with each MHP owner and must be addressed as required by the agency with jurisdiction. SDG&E will not cover any costs associated with required remediation.
What happens when the conversion is complete?
Upon transfer to the SDG&E system, MHP residents will initiate gas/electric service with SDG&E. Gas and/or electric service to the old master-metered/submetered system will be shut off. Responsibility for the old system will remain with the MHP owner. The master-meter discount to the MHP owner would stop.
Who pays for the pilot program?
Program costs for work done in SDG&E’s service area will be funded by all SDG&E customers, per CPUC Decision 14-03-021. The CPUC estimates costs ranging from one-fifth of a penny to 6.3 cents per kilowatt-hour of electricity, and two-fifths of a penny per therm of natural gas.