Southern California Gas announced it has received state approval to extend its pilot program that provides direct natural gas service to mobile homes.


Image: SoCalGas' Karina Esquivel, senior account executive, MHP Utility Upgrade Program, speaking with Maricela Leal, a mobile home park resident. Photo: Courtesy of Southern California Gas Company.

The Mobile Home Park (MHP) Utility Upgrade Pilot Program was authorized for extension by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) through December 31, 2021. Mobile home park residents who receive direct utility service are able to monitor their natural gas use through advanced meter technology and easily access energy savings programs and bill assistance for income-qualified customers. Through the initial pilot program that began in 2014, SoCalGas is authorized to convert more than 18 percent of mobile home park spaces in its service territory to direct utility service through 2021.

An overwhelming majority—81 percent—of all mobile home parks in SoCalGas’ territory applied to participate in the initial MHP Utility Upgrade Pilot Program. The program has enhanced safety and reliability through direct utility service to approximately 12,000 mobile homes in more than 200 parks throughout SoCalGas’ territory.

“The CPUC’s decision to extend the MHP Utility Upgrade is good news for residents of mobile home parks in our service territory,” said Gina Orozco, SoCalGas’ vice president of gas operations. “We will continue modernizing and converting natural gas systems at mobile home parks to direct utility service to allow thousands of mobile home park residents, many of whom are seniors, working families, and others with limited resources, the benefits of safe, affordable, natural gas and eligibility for customer assistance programs for those in need.”

“As the Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Manufactured Home Communities, I applaud the California Public Utilities Commission’s approval of the continuation of the Mobilehome Park Utility Upgrade Program. This program continues to help residents of mobile home park communities across California, including within the 20th State Senate District. I appreciate SoCalGas’ participation in this program and look forward to these upgraded technologies continuing to help California residents,” said Senator Connie M. Leyva (D-Chino).

“Foothill Village is excited to be participating in the MHP Utility Upgrade Program,” said Ernest Schroer, owner of Foothill Village in Pomona, California. “The modernization of pipeline for natural gas means that we no longer have to make expensive repairs and replacements to meters ourselves. We are happy to have the professionals at SoCalGas build and manage the new gas system. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”

“Our property management firm operates mobile home parks for 128 properties throughout California, 20 of which have participated in the MHP Utility Upgrade Program,” said Thomas Pacelli, Vice President of Operations at J&H Asset Property Management. “We’ve seen our residents at 20 mobile home parks benefit from the upgraded infrastructure and technology. By becoming new customers of SoCalGas, residents who need assistance paying their monthly bills can sign up and qualify for California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) to receive a 20 percent discount on monthly natural gas bills.”

In March 2014, the CPUC approved a voluntary, statewide, three-year pilot program offering mobile home park owners the opportunity to replace their parks’ energy distribution system with a new, professionally installed natural gas distribution system, which includes the installation and use of advanced meter technology. With advanced meters, mobile home park residents will have access to their hourly natural gas usage on a next-day basis that can enable them to better manage their gas usage and save money. New SoCalGas customers will now also be able to set up their own “My Account” to view and pay their bill online, schedule service and/or sign up for paperless billing.

Source: Company Press Release.