An SDG&E service truck, Image from video

San Diego Gas & Electric released a sustainability strategy Thursday with climate change-conscious goals in the areas of environmental stewardship, clean transportation, grid modernization, community engagement and company operations.

The strategy, titled “Building a Better Future: Our Commitment to Sustainability,” is intended to serve as a foundation for SDG&E to work toward key sustainability goals in the future. Its release is timely, as the city of San Diego is currently reassessing its franchise agreements for electric and gas utilities — both of which have been provided by SDG&E since 1920.

Multiple energy companies have submitted bids, and a rising call to municipalize the utilities have made the process more competitive than the last time the city signed a franchise agreement in 1970.

The strategy from SDG&E is designed to be similar to climate action plans developed by local cities and is built to be updated and evolve as new stakeholder feedback, regulatory policies and technological breakthroughs comes to light.

Goals include planting at least 10,000 trees each year, electrify its entire fleet by 2040, place two green hydrogen projects online by 2022 and various other green- and diversity-oriented projects.

“It’s imperative that we move more quickly to address climate change with strategic investments and partnerships because the stakes are so high if we fail to take collective action now,” said Caroline Winn, SDG&E’s CEO. “As an energy company, we have an important role to play in the fight against climate change by not only doing our part to reduce emissions from our own operations, but to also develop and encourage the use of energy innovations that can make a difference.”

According to a company statement, “the company recognizes its duties to provide safe, reliable and affordable energy services, as well as the systemic inequities that have existed for many years in society.”

SDG&E is owned by San Diego-based Sempra Energy.

–City News Service