San Diego County CA— Last week, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) was awarded the 2015 ReliabilityOne™ Award for Outstanding Reliability Performance among utilities in the western states and Canada for the 10th straight year by PA Consulting Group. ReliabilityOne™ Awards are given annually to the utilities that have excelled in delivering the most reliable electric service to their customers.
Maintaining reliability is the foundation of SDG&E’s day-to-day operations, which means continually working to lower the number and duration of power outages our customers’ experience. “Reliability” means that electricity is available when you need it, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, but best in class reliability doesn’t happen by accident. In 1998, on average, a customer experienced about one power outage a year with an average outage lasting an hour and a half. Today, due to improvements and advancements in the utility industry, a customer on average experiences about one power outage every other year lasting only an average of 60 minutes.
“This award is such a tremendous honor, and highlights the fact that we are continuously improving to serve you better tomorrow than we are today,” said David L. Geier, vice president of electric transmission & system engineering for SDG&E. “Whether it’s developing or leveraging new innovative technologies, our goal is to reduce the number and length of outages, so that when you flip your switch at home, the lights will always turn on.”
Some of SDG&E’s most innovative reliability enhancements include:
- Integrating many forms of renewable energy, including rooftop solar. SDG&E is developing a dynamic, innovative and resilient grid that can enable the sustainable growth of renewable energy and other technologies as our customers chose to adopt them, and as they become competitive, viable options. To date, SDG&E has helped connect more than 68,000 solar rooftop systems, adding nearly 70 per day. The company was the first utility in California to generate 33 percent of its electricity from renewable resources.
- Utilizing smart grid technology that provides real-time information about outages and dispatches crews to the location to quickly correct problems.
- By creating a more automated electric grid, SDG&E has been able to reduce the number of customers impacted by power outages by more than a third over the past decade. In many cases, the grid is able to use real-time information to “heal” itself remotely or sense problems before they occur.
- Testing Unmanned Aircraft Systems to patrol and inspect electric facilities when outages occur. By leveraging this new technology, SDG&E will be able to safely inspect power lines in environments that are off-limits to helicopters or difficult to access by road or other means.
- Since 2007, replaced approximately 5,700 wooden transmission and distribution poles with steel poles in areas where wildfire risk is highest.
“The ReliabilityOne™ Awards have helped bring recognition to those utilities that have maintained the highest level of reliability, brought outstanding innovation to their operations and place the highest value on their customers,” said Jeff Lewis, PA Consulting Group’s ReliabilityOne™ program director.
SDG&E was also recognized for Outstanding Response to a Major Outage Event for its efforts during the May 2014 wildfires. By working closely with local agencies to ensure utility crews and firefighters were mobilized and prepared in advance, SDG&E was able to ultimately minimize outage response times.
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 868,000 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. Connect with SDG&E’s Customer Contact Center at 800-411-7343, on Twitter (@SDGE) and Facebook.
About PA Consulting Group
PA is an employee-owned firm of over 2,500 people, operating globally from offices across North America, Europe, the Nordics, the Gulf and Asia Pacific. Our specific expertise is in energy and utilities, financial services, health, life sciences, consumer and manufacturing, government, defense and security, transport and logistics.
Our deep industry knowledge together with skills in management consulting, technology and innovation allows us to challenge conventional thinking and deliver exceptional results with lasting impact. paconsulting.com
PA’s ReliabilityOne™ awards are presented to electric utilities providing their customers with the highest levels of reliability in the industry. PA’s ReliabilityOne™ study is based on standard industry reliability statistics that measure the frequency and duration of electric power outages and has been analyzing electric utility performance since 1987. For more information about PA Consulting Group, visit paconsulting.com/energy.