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Client Description:

The nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) provides service to 20.9 million consumers in more than 500 communities throughout Central and Southern California. SoCalGas, a Sempra Energy regulated utility, and has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years.

Client’s Goals:

  • Maintain access to low cost, clean natural gas to all commercial, industrial and residential customers.
  • Support efforts to expand the utilization of cleaner burning natural gas in the region’s transportation sector, particularly as a substitute for diesel in heavy-duty trucks and buses, as well as high horsepower equipment.
  • Encourage the integration of strategies to increase the use of natural gas in transportation as a key element in the region’s air quality improvement planning.
  • Educate policy makers about the environmental and energy efficiency superiority of gas in certain key end uses, such as water heating, space conditioning and cooking.
  • Increase funding for research, development and demonstration of near-zero and power plant emission equivalent heavy-duty natural gas engines.

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GNA’s Strategy:

  • Develop and implement a strategy for the development and implementation of public policies that promote a near zero-emission heavy-duty natural gas engine for transit and truck applications.
  • Conduct multiple assessments of the market for natural gas in key vehicle sectors.
  • Develop and implement a strategy to educate environmental leaders, air quality regulators and elected officials regarding the central role that natural gas can play in cost-effectively reducing emissions of deadly diesel exhaust from the heavy-duty sector.
  • Advance policies requiring publicly-owned or contracted vehicle fleets to use the cleanest available technology, and to assure the availability of funding for those fleets.

Project Results:

  • Preparation of a comprehensive report titled “Equivalent Strategies for the ARB Zero Emission Bus (Z-Bus) Regulation”: GNA co-authored a report with SoCalGas regarding the California Air Resource Board (CARB)’ Fleet Rule for Transit Agencies, which requires all public transit operators with 200 or more buses have a zero-emission bus (“ZBus”) demonstration and purchase requirement. In order to realize critical emission reductions sooner and to encourage the fuel neutral development of zero- and near zero-emission technologies, GNA recommended the Fleet Rule be revised to include near-zero emission options. GNA will continue collaborating with SoCalGas and operators to advocate for this approach which provides greater flexibility to meet the net emissions reductions attributed to the zero-emission bus purchase requirement using whatever combination of technologies that best meets the operational, invested capital, and fiscal requirements of the subject transit agencies.
  • Preparation on a white paper evaluating multiple “Pathways” towards zero-emission natural gas vehicles: GNA worked with SoCalGas to prepare a comprehensive analysis of the role near zero-emission, heavy-duty natural gas vehicles can play in meeting California’s serious air quality and climate protection goals. GNA’s findings indicate that heavy-duty natural gas engines are on a trajectory an emissions level equal to the power plant emissions that would result from charging an electric vehicle of a comparable size. View the PDF »
  • Multiple Seminars and Webinars for the Gas Sustainability Initiative: GNA has organized a strategic series of seminars, webinars, outreach campaigns, and special events on in support of SoCalGas’ Gas Sustainability Initiative (GSI). GSI is an effort to educate Californians on the benefits of natural gas and the role it will play in our sustainable energy future.
  • Coordination of the first CNG drayage truck deployment project in the nation: GNA managed SoCalGas groundbreaking initiative to help deploy additional clean-burning natural gas truck products in the market.  SoCal Gas partnered with a private fleet to test 4 new CNG-powered Autocar port drayage tractors powered by the ISL G engine. From coordination with the technology provider to the well-publicized ribbon cutting ceremony, GNA helped SoCalGas identify and successfully pursue opportunities to promote the superiority of natural gas vehicle technologies.
  • In-depth surveys of the markets for natural gas vehicles in Southern California: GNA outreach to thousands of fleet operators in Southern California, including school bus, transit, trash, municipal, utility, and ports and local goods movement fleets. The data, which included detailed information about operations, fuel consumption, fleet profile, future vehicle purchase plans, and attitudes towards the use of natural gas as an alternative to conventional petroleum-based fuels; was used by Sempra to tailor its education programs to the needs and interests of its customers.
  • The development of a Climate Action Initiative filing to the California Public Utilities Commission (PUC): GNA developed a report to the California Public Utilities Commission advocating a Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) Program, focused on NGVs, EVs, PHEVs and other electrification technologies, throughout the SoCalGas and SDG&E service territories. 
  • Organization of an industry association for local NGV stakeholders: GNA spearheaded development of the Business Council for a Sustainable Energy Future (now the Business Council for Sustainable Energy), which linked the natural gas, renewable and energy efficiency industries and the national environmental community on issues of mutual interest.
  • Production of an NGV educational video series: GNA managed all aspects of production and development for a nine-part “Introduction to NGV” video series, on behalf of SoCalGas and key members from the American Gas Association. GNA drafted the initial script concepts, managed the production schedule, identified and secured access to filming locations, sourced existing footage and still photography for use in the videos, and coordinated fundraising and partner development among other NGV industry stakeholders. This video series was designed to provide the public with an understanding of the key benefits of NGVs in an easy to understand short-overview format, covering topics such as environmental benefits, safety, cost benefits, fueling, customer stories, and other general background pieces. View Video Series »