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  • SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

    Last year SoCalGas (SCG) denied my request to install a Phill because the natural gas to my house is "hot." I'm told "hot" means it has too much energy because it is "associated" with an oil well and it is also called "associated gas." Sounds like a good thing but it isn't.

    Honda has supplied information to show that the Honda Civic GX (which I have) can run cleanly without damage on the "hot" gas so I should be allowed to install the Phill but since the gas does not meet the specifications SCG cannot approve the request.

    I've been told SCG, AQMD, CARB, Honda, and FuelMaker are working together to solve the problem but I'm unable to detect any progress in the past 9 months. I think the solution they are seeking is to let homeowners install the Phill without any approval from SCG.

    ALL the existing Phill units that were approved in my area, West Los Angeles, when the gas was not hot are now using hot gas and there is no system in place to tell them to stop using the hot gas that they are pumping now.

    Does anyone have any additional information or suggestions?

    I wrote the Governer's office about the problem and got a reply informing me that they do not comment on pending legislation. I wondered if they read my note.
    Last edited by AllanGX; 04-04-2008, 10:06 AM.

  • #2
    Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

    In the past FuelMaker has not authorized their units for pumping well gas.
    Their policy has been pipeline quality gas only, otherwise in some areas they would see a premature failure of their equipment from contaminants.
    I do not know how this would apply in your area.
    We are not lucky enough to even have any wells in Arizona.
    Dave Clement

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    • #3
      Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

      The down side of installing under the table is that you won't get the reduced tariff so it's going to cost your a lot more.

      Looks to me like you're screwed
      John

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      • #4
        Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

        SCG is regulated by the CPUC. You can file a complaint with the CPUC or ask the Division of Ratepayer Advocates for help. DRA represents customers of electric, natural gas, water and telecommunications utilities regulated by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).

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        • #5
          Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

          Thanks for the replies.

          cngaz - Dave - FuelMaker is on my side on this issue so I'd guess they consider this "hot" gas to be ok in their systems. I'd call it pipeline quality since the SoCalGas company is indeed putting it in their pipelines.

          Timon - John - There's another downside of installing under the table. The SoCalGas folks tell me that the fine (by the AQMD) is $25,000 per instance of fueling with unapproved gas. I'm certainly screwed so far but I'm occasionally getting encouraging words so I'll continue to beat my head against the walls.

          echamberlain - Good idea, I'll see if the CPUC can help. I'll hold off filing a complaint until all hope is lost.

          Meanwhile, I'm trying to talk SoCalGas into switching to warm gas instead of hot gas for a couple of days when they do their monthly measurements so they can approve my request - kidding.

          Allan

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          • #6
            Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

            Somewhere through LA/LA county there must be a line which divides SoCalGas customers.
            The north area gets the gas supplied from a different source than the south part, so it seems.
            I live in OC and got my approval within 1-2 months (last September).
            It would be interesting to find out the exact location of this 'line'.
            The only map I found is a page showing all the pipelines.
            http://www.socalgas.com/business/calenergyhub/

            It seems that SCG would just need to switch different valves to deliver the same gas to all areas.

            Maybe this helps

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            • #7
              Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

              There are a number of lines supplying gas to SoCal Gas customers, some from come directly from the wells such as the line coming from Bakersfield that runs South through Santa Clarita and the off-shore rigs around Santa Barbara. Some come in from the East bringing gas from Texas, Colorado and even Canada, I believe.

              I've had this conversation with SoCal Gas several times. They assure me that the cars today run fine on well gas, given the modern computer controls on the cars. Ca is the only state left with this archaic law on the books and they have been fighting for the past several years to have it repealed. It seems CARB is a factor in keeping it alive. Gotta love bureaucracy.

              It may still end up going away, just don't hold your breath. I can give a number and name at SoCal Gas AFV division, should anyone want to try and ferret out a political ally that we can work to help them overturn this law. I'm not near my contact list at the moment. Anyone have Steve Anthony's # handy?
              [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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              • #8
                Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

                Allan,
                I recall hearing that the spec and therefore the law was based on some agency's busses that couldn't run on the higher energy (better) gas, but I don't think any are in existance anyway. The hotter gas, of course will run fine in the GX, probably giving more mpgge.

                Figuring out exactly what this 'law' is and how to petition to get it eliminated would be a good project.

                Have you simply put in another request for gas testing?

                Best,
                Jeff

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                • #9
                  Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

                  I have put in for another approval and also check with Mike Franko at SCG every month to see if "this is the month." Steve Anthony's name has not come up but I'd love to give him a call. If Curtis can't supply the number, I'll see if Mike Franko can give it to me.

                  I wonder if the Honda Alt Fuels folks might be able to give us some updates.
                  Allan

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                  • #10
                    Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

                    steve anthony 213-244-3583

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

                      Thanks for Steve Anthony's phone number. I'll give him a buzz.

                      This afternoon I got a call from Dave Taylor at FuelMaker informing me that SoCalGas is starting a letter writing campagn to ask CARB to change their obsolete rules. He sent me a draft that I can rewrite to suit my taste and send to Mary Nichols, Chairman of the California Air Resource Board. The note does a pretty good job of summarizing the situation so all I need to do is add a few profanities and send it off (kidding).

                      If any one else is in a similar situation I'd be glad to forward the draft.
                      Allan

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                      • #12
                        Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

                        Allan, why don't you post it in a new thread and we can all send in letters. That should give them the idea that it's time for change.
                        [ATTACH=CONFIG]temp_4586_1441434431016_578[/ATTACH]

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                        • #13
                          Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

                          I'll post the draft in a new thread.
                          Allan
                          Last edited by AllanGX; 04-12-2008, 10:41 PM.

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                          • #14
                            Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

                            I am interested in buying a Honda Civic GX and the FM2Q36 home refueling unit. I have just submitted the Letter of Intent to Southern Cal Gas Co. I could find out no information from their customer contact center about approval or processing time for the approval.

                            I live in Altadena CA, just northeast of Pasadena. Does anyone know if this area will have this "hot gas" problem? I can't find out which areas get approved and which ones don't so far.

                            Thanks.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: SoCalGas Denied Request to Install Phill

                              I got the OK after about 3-4 weeks, but for south OC.
                              You can try calling (213) 244-3720 and ask for your status.

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