SAN FRANCISCO, March 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Following a decision by state regulators today, PG&E will begin reaching out to owners of master-metered mobile home parks (MHPs) in Northern and Central California for a three-year voluntary pilot program to install new gas and electric service for their residents.
The statewide pilot program, ordered by the California Public Utilities Commission, closely follows a proposal put forward by PG&E last year to upgrade public safety and service reliability by replacing aging energy infrastructure in such communities.
Currently, California utilities provide electric and gas service to a single master meter at many MHPs in their service area—about 1,400 in PG&E's area alone. The gas and electric utility lines, services, and individual meters beyond the master meter are the responsibility of the MHP owners, who may not have the resources or expertise to maintain them properly.
The voluntary pilot program will aim to replace existing MHP gas and electric facilities with new direct utility service to about 10 percent of all spaces in these communities; for PG&E this means about 10,000 individual homes. If the pilot proves successful, the Commission may order a full-scale conversion of all master-metered MHP services to the utilities.Selection of the pilot participants will be made by the Commission's Safety and Enforcement Division, based on safety and reliability needs, from among those park owners who apply within a 90-day window starting January 1, 2015. "Over time, many mobile home park owners have struggled to maintain and upgrade their gas and electric infrastructure to meet modern standards for safety and reliability," said Geisha Williams, Executive Vice President for Electric Operations at PG&E. "Many owners face financial constraints and lack utility expertise. We look forward to helping them, and their residents, eliminate potential safety risks and reliability issues by replacing their utility services in a phased and orderly process."