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Sempra Inks Energy Deal with Auto Parts Firm

Sempra Inks Energy Deal with Auto Parts Firm

Offering to manage energy and related infrastructure services, Sempra Energy's energy services provider has inked a deal with one of the nation's largest auto parts retail chains. Under the deal Sempra Energy Solutions will provide energy information and billing management services for 718 retail outlets in 37 states.

The one-year agreement with Advance Auto Parts follows the retailer's recent purchase of Western Auto, a former subsidiary of Sears, Roebuck & Co., last year, adding 590 stores and upping Advance's total facilities to 1,700 throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico. The firms would not disclose the dollar value of the contract or the projected cost savings for Advance Auto. Included in the Sempra contract are all of the newly acquired stores, along with 128 existing Advance outlets located in the same geographical areas.

The goal is to save Advance Auto at least 2% on its annual costs for electricity, natural gas, water and sewer services at the multiple sites that are served by about 600 separate utility companies. It is still undetermined what proportion the non-energy services will turn out to be, according to a San Diego-based Sempra spokesperson, who noted that this is the largest scale in which they have agreed to manage water/sewer services.

"As we integrate two national retail chain operations, we need to be armed with the knowledge that will allow us to make the smartest decisions about energy in the deregulated marketplace," said Troy Metz, Advance Auto's corporate service manager. Advance will use Sempra's Internet-based bill analysis, payment and reporting system, EnchargeT.

"One of the values that Advance Auto saw in Encharge is that it would help them integrate these new sites into their operations," said the Sempra spokesperson. Sempra will be "supporting the company's rapid growth as it integrates new stores into its network and develops a long-term energy strategy," said Sempra's Donald E. Felsinger, group president of unregulated businesses.

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