SoCalGas data analytics team named most innovative among U.S. utilities

Published on February 02, 2021 by Chris Galford

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The Utility Analytics Institute (UAI) held up Southern California Gas Co.’s (SoCalGas) data analytics team as the ones to beat among 150 utilities across the United States and the world, dubbing it the most innovative for gains it has provided the company across the board.

“SoCalGas has made impressive contributions to data analytics within the utility industry,” Gina Weber, managing director at UAI, a global consortium of over 160 member utilities, said. “Each winner of the UAI Excellence Awards was selected from a pool of talented individuals, teams, and organizations, and we congratulate them on this well-deserved recognition.”

Chiefly, the use of data analytics allowed SoCalGas to save millions of dollars for itself and its customers, but it also increased safety among operations, helped conserve energy, and to cut greenhouse gas emissions. In fact, these efforts led the company to a method of identifying and notifying those customers less likely to conserve energy during cold snaps, allowing more than 300,000 therms of energy to be saved annually, and taking greenhouse gas emissions with them.

Data analytics has also allowed the company to be more accurate in predicting the number and location of customer service orders, allowing, for example, better management of personal protective equipment and appropriate staffing during the COVID-19 pandemic. The data analytics also helps employees avoid hazards, with the planned rollout of notifications for drivers that include hazardous driving routes, COVID-19 case rates among various areas, and reminders of special safety precautions and gear required for certain types of service calls.

Pipelines are also being made safer through the use of data analytics, by gathering construction permit data to assess the possibility of damage due to excavation and then providing additional reminders to areas where more construction permits are issued, among other things.

“We are honored to have been recognized for this award,” Gillian Wright, senior vice president and chief customer officer at SoCalGas, said. “The work our data analytics team does is innovative, progressive, forward-thinking and leads to solving the company’s most complex business challenges. All of this is in support of SoCalGas’ mission to become the cleanest, safest, and most innovative energy company in America.”