San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) has been named the winner of the second phase of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Smart Grid Data Access funding opportunity, receiving an award of approximately $2 million to fully adopt its innovative program designed to get customers more involved in their own energy consumption.

Additionally, SDG&E has committed to providing $2.33 million funding for the phase II effort, bringing its total value to over $4.3 million.

“Through initiatives such as Green Button, innovative utilities and third party companies across America are working together to put the power of big energy data directly into the hands of consumers,” said Assistant Secretary for the Energy Department’s Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability Patricia Hoffman. “Helping Americans take better control of their own electricity consumption and costs is an important step in moving the nation towards a more efficient and independent energy future.”

During their phase I San Diego Energy Challenge, SDG&E gave customers access to their Green Button data, weekly energy summaries, and an opportunity to receive a bill credit for reducing their energy use below their individual “use less than” amount on high demand days. In the second phase, SDG&E will expand the program across its entire service territory of 1.4 million customers and add behavioral studies and customer outreach efforts. Approximately 400,000 customers will be automatically enrolled to receive targeted motivation and messaging via email and direct mail channels.

The Smart Grid Data Access funding opportunity was announced in November 2011 to encourage the creation of programs that empower consumers to better manage their electricity use through improved access to their consumption data. In the first phase, seven organizations received awards totaling nearly $3.2 million. In addition to SDG&E, these were National Information Solutions Cooperative, Pecan Street Inc., Gulf of Maine Research Institute, City of Dubuque, Iowa, Balfour Beatty Military Housing Management, LLC, and the State of Arizona.