San Francisco-based Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) has opened the Gas Safety Academy, in Winters, CA, as its primary training center for employees learning to operate and maintain all aspects of the combination utility’s natural gas delivery system. Included in the center — the third gas safety facility opened by PG&E in the past four years — are heavy equipment simulators, virtual learning resources, a model neighborhood for emergency response, leak detection practices, and educational safety protocol programs. PG&E officials said that the new center represents five years of research, benchmarking, design and construction. The center is designed to handle 150 employees weekly and provide nearly 36,000 hours of training annually.

Sempra Energy utilitySan Diego Gas and Electric Co. has been approved by the California Public Utilities Commission to upgrade the natural gas and electricity systems in mobile homes in San Diego County. By December, the utility plans to complete the conversion of 3,150 mobile homes at 28 locations, upgrading gas/electric service and reliability. Each mobile home would have a gas and electric meter, replacing system that relied on mobile home park operators to own/operate master systems. SDG&E wants to expand the program to capture an additional 4,900 mobile residences over the next six years.