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Spring into Savings with Four Ways to Reduce Cooling Costs Ahead of Summer

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) wants customers with air conditioners to know they can cool their home for less as temperatures heat up. Today, PG&E shares four simple ways for customers to save energy and reduce cooling costs.

“This spring and summer, we want to help our customers manage their energy costs and save money. Customers can utilize our tips, tools, and programs to uncover savings through these hotter months,” said Vincent Davis, senior director of customer energy solutions at PG&E.

1. Raise the thermostat when at home and turn it up when leaving: Customers can save on annual cooling costs for each degree the temperature is increased in their home during the hot summer months. Set the thermostat to 78 degrees when at home, health permitting. Turn it up to 85 degrees when not at home.
2. Check air filters once a month: Heating and cooling consume the most energy in the average home — up to 50 percent of total home energy use. Dirty filters cause your system to work harder to keep the area cool, wasting energy and money.
3. Consider purchasing a smart thermostat for your home: Through PG&E’s Smart Thermostat Rebate, customers receive a $50 rebate on the purchase of new smart thermostat to help save on home heating and cooling costs. Visit PG&E’s Marketplace to compare and shop for qualifying ENERGY STAR® models.
4. Maintain your air conditioner: Customers can lower their monthly energy bill by keeping air conditioning equipment working at top efficiency. PG&E’s AC Quality Care Program offers a free AC assessment ahead of summer and list of available AC-related rebates.
To take advantage of additional programs, tools, and savings opportunities, PG&E recommends customers:

• Go to pge.com and sign up for a free online account. Signing up to access an online account is critical to customers’ understanding their energy use. When logged in, customers can also, review energy use and costs, compare bills, and more.

• Find a rate plan that works best for their home at pge.com/ratechoices. Customers can analyze their energy usage and find the lowest cost or most convenient rate plan, based on their electric use history. PG&E customers can also explore new time-of-use rates to determine what works for their home.

• Avoid bill surprises with Energy Alerts and Budget Billing. Customers who need help balancing their budget and avoiding bill surprises can sign up for the free Bill Forecast Alerts at pge.com/energyalerts to be alerted by text, phone or email if their monthly bill amount is projected to exceed the amount they specified. Customers who wish to receive a more consistent and predictable monthly bill based on their average annual usage can sign up for Budget Billing at pge.com/budgetbilling.

• Take a free Home Energy Checkup at pge.com/myenergyuse. This simple web-based assessment allows customers to find out how much of their household’s energy goes to heating, hot water, appliances, and lighting. Customers will receive a personalized list of ways to reduce energy and lower their bill. It’s free, easy and takes only five minutes to complete..
For more tips on how to save this summer, visit pge.com/summer.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.

PG&E Opens New Wildfire Safety Operations Center, Marks California Wildfire Awareness Week with $2 Million for Fire Safe Councils

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — In preparation for the 2018 wildfire season, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has opened its new Wildfire Safety Operations Center. The center, which will be staffed 24/7, will monitor potential fire threats across PG&E’s service area in real time and coordinate with first responders and public safety officials to respond to any emerging threats and help keep communities safe.

The Wildfire Safety Operations Center is part of PG&E’s Community Wildfire Safety Program, launched in March as an additional precautionary measure intended to reduce wildfire threats and strengthen communities for the future. Through the program, PG&E is bolstering wildfire prevention and emergency response efforts, putting in place new and enhanced safety measures, and doing more over the long term to harden its electric system to help reduce wildfire risks and to keep its customers safe.

“Extreme weather is increasing the number of wildfires and length of wildfire season in California. We must continue to adapt to meet the challenges created by this ‘new normal.’ Our Wildfire Safety Operations Center is designed to quickly identify and respond to potential fire risks and work safely with fire agencies to reduce or respond to the threat,” said Pat Hogan, PG&E senior vice president of Electric Operations.

The state-of-the-art Wildfire Safety Operations Center will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, primarily during wildfire season, and will be operational at other times of the year as well, depending on conditions.

It will be staffed with highly qualified individuals who are knowledgeable in electric operations, safety, engineering, meteorology and other areas. Located at PG&E’s San Francisco headquarters, its proximity to PG&E’s Emergency Operations Center will ensure close coordination across its wildfire safety operations and emergency response teams. This coordination will include the pre-staging of PG&E crews and Wildfire Response Teams to help keep customers safe.

The Wildfire Safety Operations Center will work closely with PG&E’s meteorologists who monitor weather conditions and potential fire threats. PG&E utilizes technologies including its own weather monitoring stations mounted strategically throughout its service area. The team also uses publicly available databases, websites and emergency alert systems from agencies such as CAL FIRE, National Weather Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), Caltrans, the Bay Area Regional Air Quality Control Board and local public safety authorities.

Center staff also will work closely with fire agencies and community partners to coordinate emergency response efforts. The center will serve as PG&E’s on-the-ground communications hub and will partner with local government, first responders, media and others to provide advance and real-time emergency response information to local communities.

California Wildfire Awareness Week

In recognition of California Wildfire Awareness Week (May 7-10), PG&E announced it will provide $2 million to local Fire Safe Councils in 23 counties for 30 projects that reduce wildfire risk and help keep communities safe. The funds will pay for fuel reduction, emergency access and defensible space projects, as well as chipper days in local communities. This is the fifth year PG&E has partnered with local councils on projects to reduce wildfire risk, providing over $13 million since 2014.

The company also will continue its daily aerial patrol program to spot and speed response to wildfires. The patrols, which will start June 1 and continue through October, will occur over hundreds of miles of PG&E’s service area to assist state and local fire agencies with early fire detection and response. The patrols will coordinate with the new Wildfire Safety Operations Center.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.

PG&E Customers Eligible to Save $3,000 on a New Nissan LEAF Electric Vehicle

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced that PG&E customers can save $3,000 on the purchase of a new 2018 Nissan LEAF electric vehicle (EV). This offer adds to existing state and federal discounts available to customers in California to help support the state’s clean transportation goal of having five million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030.

At any authorized Nissan dealership, interested customers can show a recent copy of their PG&E bill, a valid photo ID and the flyer with the Fleet Certification Code found here. Family members are also eligible if they prove with a driver’s license that they reside at the same address as the customer on the PG&E bill. The discount is taken off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the purchase or finance of a 2018 Nissan LEAF EV and is available through July 2, 2018.

“Electric vehicles are a critical part of creating cleaner air and meeting California’s climate goals. Making it easier for customers to adopt EVs helps drivers reduce their environmental impact while supporting our clean energy future – a win for both our customers and the state,” said Steve Malnight, PG&E Corporation’s senior vice president of Strategy and Policy.

For more information on the offer, PG&E customers can view the FAQ. Customers can contact any authorized Nissan dealership with additional questions.

Existing discounts for EVs
In addition to the discount offered by Nissan, other available incentives could further reduce the cost of a Nissan LEAF EV by approximately 50 percent. PG&E recommends customers research other discounts and incentives, including:
• Federal Tax Credit: Customers could be eligible for up to $7,500 in federal tax credits. PG&E recommends customers review details closely and consult a tax accountant or Certified Public Accountant for specific information.
• California State Rebate: Customers could be eligible for an additional $2,500 off the Nissan LEAF through the California state rebate administered by the California Air Resources Board.
• PG&E’s Clean Fuel Rebate: PG&E residential, electric customers who are EV drivers can apply for the company’s one-time $500 Clean Fuel Rebate. The rebate is part of California’s statewide Low Carbon Fuel Standard initiative, which aims to reduce transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions by encouraging the adoption of clean fuels like electricity.
• PG&E customers living in certain areas such as San Joaquin Valley could be eligible for additional EV discounts.

PG&E Ongoing Support for EVs in California
Committed to increasing adoption of clean vehicles in the state, PG&E continues its efforts to make it easier for customers to make the switch to EVs. On PG&E’s residential EV rate plans, customers pay the equivalent of $1.20 per gallon to charge their vehicle overnight. Customers can learn more about EVs by viewing PG&E’s online resources and get help determining which rate plan makes sense for them.

Recently, PG&E announced that its customers can save $10,000 on the purchase of a new 2017 or 2018 BMW i3 or i3s EV through May 31, 2018. At any authorized BMW dealership, interested customers can show a recent copy of their PG&E bill and the filled out BMW customer information form found here.

Through its EV Charge Network program, PG&E aims to help accelerate the adoption of EVs in California by increasing access to charging. Partnering with business customers and EV charging companies, PG&E will install 7,500 EV chargers at condominiums, apartment buildings and workplaces across Northern and Central California, including at sites in disadvantaged communities.

To learn more about other options for EV drivers, visit pge.com/ev.

National Safe Digging Month Focuses Awareness on Importance of Calling 811

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif – Spring break, blooming flowers and warming temperatures are all hallmarks of spring time in Northern and Central California. So is April’s National Safe Digging Month – a public safety initiative supported by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and more than 1,000 other utilities — that raises awareness about the importance of having underground utility lines marked in advance of any digging project. It’s a nation-wide effort to help keep people safe while doing projects big and small.

According to the Common Ground Alliance’s damage information reporting tool, an underground utility line is damaged every nine minutes in the United States. With spring typically regarded as the ideal time to begin home improvement projects and new construction, PG&E is urging customers to help stop dig-ins by placing a toll-free call to 811 or an online request to have gas and electric lines marked free of charge three working days before the project begins.

“Dig-ins are one of the most serious threats to public safety in our industry. Whether you are digging with a shovel or heavy machinery, a call to 811 can help keep you, your family and neighbors safe as well as help avoid costly repair that may result from striking an underground gas or electric line,” said PG&E Gas Operations Senior Vice President Jesus Soto.

Key Facts

• In 2017, there were nearly 1,800 third-party dig-ins on PG&E’s underground infrastructure across Northern and Central California.
• Of the nearly 1,800 dig-ins, nearly half resulted from not using 811 to have gas and electric lines marked in advance.
• Of the third-party (customers or construction crews) dig-ins to PG&E’s lines in 2017, homeowners accounted for nearly 25 percent.
• Nine out of 10 residential dig-ins had not called 811 in advance.

811 is a designated toll-free number for homeowners and professional excavators and is serviced by regional offices. Operators answering calls and emails will dispatch all necessary utilities to properly mark underground utility lines with paint or flags. Underground Service Alert of Northern/Central California and Nevada (USA North), recently announced that it will now be staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will provide Spanish and other translation services.

“I commend USA North for demonstrating their commitment to safety by extending service hours. Construction work happens 24 hours a day and now crews in Northern California and Nevada will have the ability to file a ticket as soon as the need arises regardless of the time of day,” Soto added.

PG&E Safe Digging Tips:
Mark project area in white: Identify the digging location by drawing a box around the area using white paint, white stakes, white flags, white chalk or even white baking flour.

• Call 811 or go online for a USA ticket three working days before digging: Be prepared to provide the address and general location of the project, project start date and type of digging activity. PG&E and other utilities will identify underground facilities in the area for free.
• Dig safely: Use hand tools when digging within 24 inches of the outside edge of underground utility lines. Leave utility flags, stakes or paint marks in place until the project is finished. Backfill and compact the soil.
• Mind the lines: If the utility line is visible, dig in parallel with the utility line and use all precautions when removing the soil from around the utility line.
• Be aware of signs of a natural gas leak: Smell for a “rotten egg” odor, listen for hissing, whistling or roaring sounds and look for dirt spraying into the air, bubbling in a pond or creek and dead/dying vegetation in an otherwise moist area.

PG&E urges customers to call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 if there’s a suspected gas leak. If an accidental dent, scrape or other damage is made to a gas pipeline, those nearby must leave immediately and alert others to avoid the area. Only when a safe distance away, should anything that might create a spark such as cell phones, matches, garage door openers, vehicles, or yard equipment be used.

PG&E Warns Customers of Increased Scams as Tax Filing Deadline Nears

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— The deadline to file taxes is quickly approaching and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) warns its customers to protect themselves from an increase in scams involving people posing as PG&E employees. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), scammers take advantage of tax season to fool people into giving up their personal and financial information to file fraudulent tax returns ahead of the April 17 deadline.

This tax season, PG&E customers have reported increased emails or calls from scammers that falsely show PG&E’s phone number (1-800-743-5000) on the caller ID. Some of the recent scams have included:
• Telling customers they are eligible for a federal tax refund and requesting personal information like Social Security.
• Claiming to represent a PG&E initiative so they can sell a product or gain entrance to your home.
• Trying to sell a service such as solar evaluation and requesting personal information.
• “Phishing” emails to PG&E customers asking them to make a payment online or fill out false documents.

In all cases, PG&E actively works with law enforcement to help stop any scam impacting customers. Anyone who has received a call, email or visit from imposters claiming to be PG&E employees can report it immediately by calling PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

PG&E offers the following tips to help protect you from potential scams:
• PG&E’s Credit Department will not ask for personal information or a credit card number over the phone. If you gave someone your credit card or checking account information, report it to the credit card company or bank and law enforcement immediately.
• Be cautious if you receive an unexpected email that claims to be from PG&E. Do not click on any links or provide any personal information, and call 1-800-743-5000 instead.
• Always ask for identification before allowing anyone claiming to be a PG&E representative inside your home. PG&E employees always carry their identification and are always willing to show it to you.
• Remember that if you have an appointment with PG&E, you will receive an automated call within 48 hours prior to a scheduled visit, or a personal call from a PG&E gas service representative prior to a scheduled visit.

IRS or U.S. Treasury impersonation scams can be reported to the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at www.treasury.gov/tigta or 1-800-366-4484.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

PG&E Proposes Reforms to Support the State’s Clean Energy Future

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Today, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), along with Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric, proposed a new plan that supports the state’s clean energy goals, protects customer choice and ensures that all electric customers are treated equally.

The proposal offers a replacement to the Power Charge Indifference Adjustment (PCIA) framework, supports continued Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) growth and ensures equity among all customers.

The new proposal finds the right balance for the state’s energy future by:
• Ensuring all customers are treated equally and pay their fair share while maintaining customers’ right to receive service from an alternate energy provider and protecting customers who choose to remain with their utility.
• Sharing the costs and benefits of investments in renewable and hydroelectric resources with the customers for whom the resources were procured or built. This will ensure CCAs continue to grow and that all customers equitably share in the state’s clean energy policy goals.
• Improving the process for sharing costs related to other energy resources by eliminating cost estimates and replacing them with actual costs, with the aim of allocating costs fairly between customers.

“We can achieve the state’s clean energy goals while also supporting customer choice and treating all customers fairly and equally,” said Steve Malnight, senior vice president of Strategy and Policy for PG&E.

Why the PCIA Needs to be Updated
Starting in 2002, California committed to clean energy and the infrastructure needed to deliver it by investing in long-term clean energy contracts that must be paid for over the next 20 years. At the time, this kept energy costs stable for all Californians.

Also in 2002, California’s legislature authorized the formation of CCAs, allowing cities and counties to purchase and/or generate electricity for their residents and businesses. The first CCA began in PG&E’s service area in 2010. Likewise, customers can choose to receive their electricity from other third-party suppliers called Energy Service Providers (ESPs). For both CCA and ESP customers, PG&E continues to deliver the energy and provide meter reading, billing, maintenance and emergency response services.

Today, communities that choose to implement CCA programs or customers that choose ESPs are responsible for the PCIA charge associated with energy resources procured on their behalf. PG&E does not make any money on the PCIA. The PCIA charge is required to ensure that all customers are treated equally and do not pay for other customers’ share of costs.

However, the current PCIA formula has become unbalanced over time due to the growth of CCAs. In 2017, CCA customers only paid approximately 65 percent of the costs associated with the energy resources procured on their behalf. This imbalance required PG&E customers who were not part of a CCA to pay approximately $180 million to subsidize CCA customers. Assuming this trend continues, in the early 2020s this amount is expected to grow to half a billion dollars, which is equal to the current PG&E low-income subsidy.

The full filing can be read here.

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