A 30-foot shovel, mooing cow giveaway, natural gas truck, and more will demonstrate the importance of renewable natural gas, energy affordability and gas pipeline safety
LOS ANGELES, Feb. 12, 2018 –Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) today announced it will highlight solutions to address air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, energy affordability, pipeline safety, and other issues challenging today’s agriculture industry, at the World Agricultural Expo this week in Tulare, Calif. The company’s exhibit, themed “Natural Gas: It Just Makes Sense,” will connect each of the five senses to one of its initiatives.
“SoCalGas wants to help make life better for farmers and the agricultural industry in Central and Southern California,” said Lisa Alexander, the company’s vice president for customer solutions and communications. “Natural gas should be part of the solution when it comes to keeping energy affordable, cleaning the air, reducing methane emissions and saving growers money.”
The SoCalGas exhibit will be located at H and Median Streets in the northwest section of the International Agri-Center, and will feature information on:
• Capturing and processing methane emissions from agricultural operations to produce renewable natural gas for fueling vehicles, generating electricity, and heating homes;
• Reducing air pollution in the San Joaquin Valley by promoting the use of near-zero emissions heavyduty natural gas trucks;
• Saving money by installing efficient natural gas-fired groundwater pumps that can reduce pumping costs by at least half;
• Excavation safety and calling 811 before digging;
• Saving money with smart thermostats, including a chance to win a free ecobee or Nest thermostat.
At the SoCalGas exhibit, Expo attendees can pick up a mooing “Penny the Cow” giveaway, and find out more about the growing market for renewable natural gas, or biomethane, which turns methane emissions into a source of clean energy. SoCalGas recently worked with other utilities to issue a draft solicitation for dairy biomethane pilot projects as part of a new program under California Senate Bill 1383, which was created to reduce methane emissions from agriculture.
Dairy biogas development is rapidly increasing in California, with help in part from $35 million in grant funding last year, and an additional $61 to $75 million this year from the California Department of Food and Agriculture. There are currently about 40 projects in the works, and experts expect there could be as many as 120 projects being developed by 2022.
A 30-foot-tall shovel at the SoCalGas booth will remind Expo attendees of the importance of pipeline safety and calling 811 prior to excavating. An accompanying display will also demonstrate what can happen when a deep ripping tractor encounters a high-pressure gas line.
Using natural gas in heavy-duty trucks, such as those with a near-zero 12-liter engine, can reduce air pollution, and thus would benefit the many farming communities along the Interstate 5 and Highway 99 corridors. According to a recent American Lung Association report, Kings and Tulare Counties rank as the first and third, respectively, most polluted counties in the nation in year-round air pollution. To help clean the air, SoCalGas has partnered with the San Joaquin Air Pollution Control District and other air districts to bring awareness to fleet owners, operators and dealers of the benefits of near-zero heavy-duty natural gas trucks. With the help of state incentives, the company recently worked with a group of fleet owners and operators to begin replacing 400 of their diesel trucks with near-zero natural gas heavy-duty trucks, which will reduce emissions by the equivalent of taking 22,800 gasoline passenger vehicles off the road permanently.
To demonstrate the cost-savings of using natural gas for water pumping, SoCalGas will showcase a natural gas engine on an interactive water pumping stand. The engine will operate periodically throughout the day to demonstrate that natural gas is a cost-effective choice. Hourly costs to use natural gas to power a 150-horsepower irrigation well are currently less than half the hourly costs of an electric motor, and less than a third the cost of powering a diesel engine.
Company representatives at the SoCalGas exhibit will also encourage visitors to sign up for its assistance programs like California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE), which saves eligible customers 20 percent on their natural gas bills, and the Energy Savings Assistance Program, which offers qualifying customers energy-saving home improvements like insulation, weather stripping, caulking, and low-flow shower heads at no charge.
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Headquartered in Los Angeles, SoCalGas® is the largest natural gas distribution utility in the United States, providing clean, safe, affordable and reliable natural gas service to 21.7 million customers in Central and Southern California. Its service territory spans 22,000 square miles from Fresno to the Mexican border, reaching more than 550 communities through 5.9 million meters and 101,000 miles of pipeline. More than 90 percent of Southern California single-family home residents use natural gas for home heat and hot water. In addition, natural gas plays a key role in providing electricity to Californians—about 60 percent of electric power generated in the state comes from gas-fired power plants.
SoCalGas has served communities in California for 150 years and is committed to being a leader in the region’s clean energy future. SoCalGas is working to accelerate the use of renewable natural gas, a carbon-neutral or carbon-negative fuel created by capturing and conditioning greenhouse gas emissions from farms, landfills and wastewater treatment plants. The company is a subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE), a Fortune 500 energy services holding company based in San Diego. For more information
visit socalgas.com/newsroom or connect with SoCalGas on Twitter (@SoCalGas), Instagram (@SoCalGas) and Facebook.
About World Ag Expo
The International Agri-Center is home to World Ag Expo, February 13-15, 2018, in Tulare, California. An estimated annual average of 100,000 individuals from 70 countries attends World Ag Expo each year. The largest annual agricultural show of its kind, World Ag Expo hosts 1,500 exhibitors displaying cutting-edge agricultural technology and equipment on 2.6 million square feet of exhibit space.
Melissa Bailey Office of Media and Public Information (213) 244-2442 [email protected]