Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) is filing its Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan to comply with the CPUC’s pipeline safety rulemaking proceeding directives to enhance public safety. As part of the proceeding, the CPUC ordered the state’s four natural gas transmission pipeline operators – Pacific Gas & Electric, Southwest Gas and San Diego Gas & Electric, as well as Southern California Gas Company -- to develop plans to replace or pressure test all natural gas transmission pipelines that have not been pressure tested. Regulations specifying pressure testing were implemented after many of the transmission pipelines were installed.
We also are proposing to retrofit existing valves and install new valves so we can respond to transmission pipeline incidents more quickly and in multiple locations simultaneously. Additionally, we propose to install technology enhancements, such as fiber optic cabling and methane detection instruments, to enable near real-time monitoring of events and conditions along our pipelines.
The Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan Surcharge increases over time, as more project work is completed. If the CPUC approves our proposal as filed, in 2012 the surcharge for residential customers would be 67 cents per month. This would steadily increase to $2.82 per month by 2015. We are proposing to provide the California Alternate Rate for Energy (CARE) rate discount of 20 percent to this surcharge on the bills of income-qualified customers.
A typical business customer using 300 therms of natural gas a month would see a surcharge of $2.47 per month in 2012, reaching $10.45 per month in 2015. A typical business customer using 500 therms of natural gas a month would see a surcharge of $4.11 per month in 2012, increasing to $17.42 per month in 2015. And, a large commercial and industrial customer using 6,250 therms of natural gas a month would see a surcharge of $51.42 per month in 2012, reaching $217.74 per month in 2015.
Beyond 2015, we are proposing to request Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan costs as part of the General Rate Case process.
Our plan includes several proposals to reduce costs, including: