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High Demand For Natural Gas Nationwide Means A Shortage In San Diego

SDG&E headquarters appears in this undated photo.
Nicholas McVicker
SDG&E headquarters appears in this file photo taken Feb. 12, 2016.

Severe freezing weather in other parts of the country has dramatically increased demand for natural gas. That means San Diego is facing a shortage in its own energy supplies.

Natural gas used in San Diego comes primarily from the Permian Basin in Texas, a state which has been hit hard by extreme weather. Company records show that San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) received significantly less gas Tuesday than was used by customers, so they had to dip into their storage capacity.

High Demand For Natural Gas Nationwide Means A Shortage In San Diego
Listen to this story by Sarah Katsiyiannis.

As a result, SDG&E and SoCalGas, which ships natural gas to San Diego, have been reaching out to big customers, like San Diego State University, to warn them of possible disruptions. They also asked them to conserve energy.


"To help prevent a curtailment of natural gas supply, SDSU's facilities services will be reducing natural gas consumption and relying more on grid electricity over the coming week," said Kimberly Carnot, director of facilities services, in an email to the campus community.

She added that campus occupants may notice lower building temperatures. That’s because the university planned to reduce natural gas consumption to prevent a reduction of energy in the surrounding community.

A spokesperson for SDG&E said conservation in San Diego also benefits other parts of the country that are experiencing extreme weather conditions.