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CPUC Approves SoCalGas Changes in Storage Operations

Following approval of broader gas operations changes and unbundling of storage services late last year, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) had approved various changes in Southern California Gas Co.'s (SoCalGas) storage services. The first of these changes, including rate caps, took effect last Friday, but the Sempra utility said it may take until late next year for the full array of changes to be made.

SoCalGas said the major changes in storage services, as outlined in an advice letter to the CPUC earlier this year, include five areas:

The utility said the rate caps, manual postings and what it called "limited secondary market trading" all should begin Friday (July 18). "Changes requiring system programming enhancements, such as automated postings, secondary market trading through an electronic bulletin board, price-based prioritization of interruptible storage rights and the 5th-cycle nominations will be implemented as system enhancements are completed," said SoCalGas, acknowledging that it could be a 16-month process.

Coming out of the CPUC action last December approving some parts and denying other parts of a joint filing by SoCalGas and its affiliated Sempra utility, San Diego Gas and Electric Co., the latest advice letter was filed to establish new and modified tariffs linked to implementing the gas operations and service offering changes. The detailed advice letter filing is available on the SoCalGas website (www.socalgas.com) under "Regulatory/Tariffs" and the filing number (3818-A).

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