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PG&E, Local Fire Safe Councils Empower Communities to Help Prevent, Prepare for Wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— In an effort to help prevent wildfires and protect communities, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is joining forces with local Fire Safe Councils to enhance the safety and preparedness of local communities. PG&E is providing $2 million to fund local Fire Safe Council projects to reduce the threat of wildfires and help keep communities safe.

“Years of drought, extreme heat and 129 million dead trees are creating a ‘new normal’ in our state and we must continue to adapt to these challenges. We appreciate our continuing partnership with local Fire Safe Councils to complete this important safety work. These projects create fuel breaks to protect communities, clear vegetation from evacuation routes, and help underserved customers create critical defensible space to protect their homes from fire,” said Kevin Dasso, PG&E vice president of Electric Asset Management.

Since 2014, and including this year, PG&E will have provided $13 million to local Fire Safe Councils and 501(c)(3) organizations to fund more than 200 projects in Northern and Central California. Projects have included fuel reduction, shaded fuel breaks, emergency access and wood-chipping programs. This year, PG&E is providing funding to local councils and nonprofits to complete approximately 30 projects in 24 counties. Projects must be completed by October of this year. A list of Fire Safe Councils receiving project funding is below.

Community Wildfire Safety Program

In addition to partnering with local Fire Safe Councils, PG&E is preparing for wildfires through its new Community Wildfire Safety Program. The company launched the program 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.

Local Fire Safe Councils Receiving Funding for Projects

Organization – County
Amador Fire Safe Council – Amador
Butte County Fire Safe Council – Butte
Calaveras Foothills Fire Safe Council – Calaveras
Calaveras Resource Conservation District – Calaveras
Comptonville Community Partnership for Yuba Watershed Protection and Fire Safe Council (Yuba County Watershed Protection and Fire Safe Council ) – Yuba
Diablo Fire Safe Council – Alameda Contra Costa
East Bay Regional Park District/Regional Park Foundation – Alameda
El Dorado Fire Safe Council – El Dorado
FIRESafe MARIN – Marin
Fire Safe SMC (Woodside Fire Protection District) – San Mateo
FSC of Monterey County – Monterey
Fire Safe Council of Nevada County – Nevada
Highway 108 Fire Safe Council – Tuolumne
Highway 168 Fire Safe Council – Fresno
Iowa Hill Community Club (Forest/Iowa Hill FSC) – Placer
Lassen County Fire Safe Council – Lassen/Shasta
Mariposa Fire Safe Council – Mariposa
Mattole Restoration Council – Humboldt
Mendocino County Fire Safe Council – Mendocino
Mount Veeder Fire Safe Council – Napa
Napa Communities Firewise Foundation: Angwin FSC & Deer Park FSC – Napa
Plumas Corporation: Plumas County Fire Safe Council – Plumas
San Luis Obispo County FSC – San Luis Obispo
Santa Clara FSC – Santa Clara
Yosemite/Sequoia Resource Conservation & Development Council – Madera
Yosemite Foothill Fire Safe Council – Tuolumne
Western Shasta Resource Conservation District – Shasta

RTD Announces Free Rides on National Dump the Pump Day on June 21

Stockton, CA —San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) announced today that it will join with other public transportation systems nationwide to participate in the 13th Annual National Dump the Pump Day on Thursday, June 21. The slogan of this year’s National Dump the Pump Day is “Dump the Pump. Ride Public Transit.” RTD will offer free rides for all buses except Commuter routes on Thursday, June 21.

Sponsored by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA), the 2018 National Dump the Pump Day encourages people to ride public transportation instead of driving a car. Started in June 2006 when gas prices were $3 per gallon, this national day emphasizes that public transportation is a convenient travel option that can also help people save money. According to the March APTA Transit Savings Report, individuals in a two-person household can save an average of more than $9,894 annually by downsizing to one car.

“Stockton residents can choose to save money by dumping the pump and maximize the benefits of doing so for the environment and their neighbors,” said RTD CEO Donna DeMartino. “This is due to RTD’s commitment to zero-emission fleet electrification like what is already taking place in South Stockton. All you have to do is ride the bus.”
RTD mascot “Artie D.” is rumored to have something special in mind to celebrate Dump the Pump Day this year. Follow RTD on sjRTD.com and on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, and Twitter, especially on June 21, to see what happens.
San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) is the regional transit provider for San Joaquin County. RTD’s mission is to provide a safe, reliable, and efficient transportation system for the region. For more information, visit sjRTD.com, follow RTD on Facebook and Twitter, or call (209) 943-1111.

PG&E Begins Daily Aerial Patrols to Spot, Speed Wildfire Response; Adds Two New Routes to 2018 Schedule

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) has begun its daily aerial fire detection patrols across hundreds of miles of its service area. This year, PG&E has added two new routes to the patrols which assist the U.S. Forest Service, CAL FIRE and local fire agencies with early fire detection and response. Early detection of smoke or fire allows fire agencies to quickly respond to accurate locations.

“Wildfires in California have grown in number, size and intensity in recent years. We all must adapt to this new normal and do even more to prevent and prepare for fires. That’s why we’ve increased the area and number of customers that our daily aerial patrols will cover to help keep communities safe,” said Pat Hogan, PG&E senior vice president of Electric Operations.
The patrols began on June 1 and will run until October 31, unless conditions allow for an earlier end or require an extension. Seven planes will fly daily routes from late afternoon until dusk.

Using fixed-wing aircraft, fire spotters will operate along these routes:
• Redding to Auburn in the Northern Sierra
• Auburn to Sonora in the Central Sierra
• Sonora to Porterville in the Southern Sierra
• Redding to Humboldt to Lake County
• Vacaville to Solvang near the coast
• Redding to Hoopa to MacArthur (Siskiyou County and northeastern Shasta County)
• Mendocino County

The patrols are coordinated through PG&E’s aerial operations. The Mendocino County route is co-funded by PG&E and run by the Mendocino County Aerial Fire Patrol Co-Operative. The Co-Op patrol is scheduled to begin June 15 and run through October 15.

In 2017, PG&E patrols identified approximately 250 fires, 20 of which were first reports. The patrols totaled more than 3,500 flight hours. PG&E began operating the aerial patrols in 2014, after the governor issued a drought emergency declaration. PG&E has continued the patrols because of the scale of tree mortality in California.

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 and Division of Boating and Waterways Warn of Cold Water Hazards during Spring Snowmelt

SACRAMENTO, Calif. California’s Division of Boating and Waterways (DBW) and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) encourage water enthusiasts to take extra precautions this spring when in or near rivers. These relatively full waterways will continue to rise as snow melts and will be dangerously cold. Simple actions such as knowing the water (is it too cold or swift), knowing your limits, wearing a life jacket or simply not entering the water when conditions are deemed unsafe can save a life.

Last spring, California’s rivers were also full and running high, fast and cold. Despite warnings from multiple public entities, numerous people entered rivers and drowned. The rising waters cover obstacles below the surface. Debris, trees and rocks combined with cold, swift water creates treacherous conditions for all recreationists – waders, swimmers, paddlers, boaters, anglers and hikers cooling off at the water’s edge. Another important fact is the temperature of rivers during spring. The average swimming pool temperature runs about 80 degrees. In contrast, swift water from snowmelt can be as cold as 40 degrees and trigger shock, paralysis and drowning.

“Do not enter the water if it’s too cold,” said DBW’s Acting Deputy Director Ramona Fernandez. “Even the strongest swimmers can be stunned by cold water and become incapacitated. Also, you’re not only putting yourself at risk, but also your family or friends. Too many times family members or friends go into the water to rescue their loved ones and end up losing their lives.”

Cold water immersion/shock happens quickly once you jump or fall into the water. You have one minute to adjust to the cold shock response and get control of your breathing. Swimming failure occurs after the first 10 minutes when cold water affects your ability to swim or tread water to stay afloat. Not wearing a life jacket or being alcohol-impaired while recreating in cold water makes it even more perilous and deadly once you can no longer move and slip into unconsciousness. Watch this video to see how quickly the effects of cold water immersion affects your body.

“Nothing is more important to PG&E than the safety of the public and our employees. With the snowmelt well underway, we ask those enjoying the outdoors to be careful near mountain streams, rivers and reservoirs. Water flows can increase or decrease rapidly, so always be alert and prepared for a change in conditions. Please put safety first during your recreation activities,” said Jon Franke, PG&E’s vice president of power generation.

Below are some water safety tips:

Stay Out and Stay Alive – Stay Out of Canals and Flumes

  • Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay alive by staying out of these water conveyances, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides and fast-moving cold water. Stay out of canals and off elevated flumes.

Know the Risks

  • Prevention is the best way to save a person from drowning. By the time a person is struggling in water, a rescue is extremely unlikely and places the rescuer at risk.
  • Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
  • Cold water entering the ear canal can cause vertigo and disorientation. This may confuse swimmers, causing them to venture deeper into the water.
  • Cold water also reduces body heat 25 to 30 times faster than air does at the same temperature, and causes impairment that can lead to fatalities.

Learn About Self-Rescue Techniques

  • If you do fall into the water, here are some survival tips:
  • Do control breathing, don’t gasp. A sudden unexpected fall into cold water causes an involuntary gasp (or torso) reflex. It takes less than ½ cup of water in a person’s lungs to drown. When someone remains calm, they have a greater chance of self-rescue.
  • Don’t panic if you fall into the water.
  • Stay with your boat. It will help you stay afloat and will be seen more easily by rescuers. If it’s capsized, try to climb on top.
  • Stay afloat with the help of a life jacket, regain control of breathing, and keep head above water in view of rescuers.
  • If possible, remove heavy shoes. Look for ways to increase buoyancy such as seat cushions or an ice chest.
  • If you’re in the water with others, huddle together facing towards each other to help everyone stay afloat and keep warm.
  • If you do fall into a river without a life jacket on, watch this video to help you survive.

Know your Limits

  • Swimming in open water is more difficult than in a swimming pool – people tire more quickly and can get into trouble.
  • Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water’s surface – this is especially the case during spring and early summer snowmelt. Rising water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are recommended.

Wear a Life Jacket

  • Conditions change quickly in open water and even the best swimmers can misjudge the water and their skills when boating or swimming. Wearing a properly fitted U.S. Coast Guard-approved life jacket can increase survival time.
  • Anyone within 20 ft. of water should be wearing a life jacket in case of an unexpected fall.
  • A life jacket can also provide some thermal protection against the onset of cold water shock and keep you afloat until someone else can rescue you.
  • Need a life jacket? Check online to find a life jacket loaner station for a day or weekend use.

Whitewater Rafting and Paddling

  • Most California rivers are fed by the mountain snowpack, so they are cold year around. Even on warm, sunny days, rafters and paddlers must be prepared to deal with the water temperatures. The dangers increase as water temperatures decrease below normal body temperature (98.6 degrees F).
  • DBW offers whitewater enthusiasts informative safety videos online about the dangers of high, fast and cold water safety.

Parental Supervision

  • Actively supervise children in and around open bodies of water, giving them your undivided attention. Do not assume that someone is watching them. Appoint a designated “water watcher,” taking turns with other adults.
  • Teach children that swimming in open water is not the same as swimming in a pool: they need to be aware of uneven surfaces, river currents, ocean undertow and changing weather.

For more water safety information, including boating laws, please visit www.BoatCalifornia.com.

 

PG&E Responds to CAL FIRE Announcement

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.—Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today issued the following statement in response to the release of information by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CAL FIRE) regarding some of the October 2017 Northern California wildfires.

The safety of our customers, their families and the communities we serve is our most important job. The loss of life, homes and businesses in these extraordinary wildfires is simply heartbreaking, and we remain focused on helping communities recover and rebuild.

We look forward to the opportunity to carefully review the CAL FIRE reports to understand the agency’s perspectives.

Based on the information we have so far, we believe our overall programs met our state’s high standards.

Under PG&E’s industry-leading Vegetation Management Program, we inspect and monitor every PG&E overhead electric transmission and distribution line each year, with some locations patrolled multiple times. We also prune or remove approximately 1.4 million trees annually.

Following Governor Brown’s January 2014 Drought State of Emergency Proclamation and the California Public Utilities Commission’s Resolution ESRB-4, PG&E has added enhanced measures to address areas particularly affected by drought and bark beetles including:

• Increased foot and aerial patrols along power lines in high fire-risk areas;
• Removed approximately 236,000 dead or dying trees in 2016 and 140,000 dead or dying trees in 2017; these tree removals were in addition to approximately 30,000 trees removed per year prior to the drought;
• Launched daily aerial fire detection patrols during high fire season to improve fire spotting and speed of fire response;
• Since 2014, provided $11.4 million to local Fire Safe Councils (FSCs) for fuel reduction projects in communities; and
• Provided $1.7 million to local FSCs for 28 highly programmable remote-sensing cameras for critical fire lookout towers.

PG&E meets or exceeds regulatory requirements for pole integrity management, using a comprehensive database to manage multiple patrol and inspection schedules of our more than two million poles.

Years of drought, extreme heat and 129 million dead trees have created a “new normal” for our state, and we must continue to adapt to meet these challenges.

Extreme weather is increasing the number of large wildfires and the length of the wildfire season in California. According to CAL FIRE, in 2017 alone, CAL FIRE confronted 7,117 wildfires, compared to an average of 4,835 during the preceding five years. Five of the 20 most destructive wildfires in the state’s history burned between October and December 2017.

In the case of these Northern California wildfires, we saw an unprecedented confluence of weather-related conditions, including: years of drought resulting in millions of dead trees, a record-setting wet winter that spurred the growth of vegetation that then became abundant fuel after record-setting heat during the summer months, very low humidity and very high winds.

The state, first responders and California’s utilities are all in agreement that we must work together to prevent and respond to wildfires and enhance climate and infrastructure resiliency.

Following last year’s fires, we are bolstering wildfire prevention and emergency response efforts, putting in place new and enhanced safety measures, and doing more over the long term to harden our electric system to help reduce wildfire risks and to keep our customers safe.

We want to work together to share information, provide resources and help our customers and communities prepare for and stay safe during extreme weather events. This challenge requires us all to come together in order to be successful. We need to look at the full range of solutions. These should include utility practices as well as:

• Forest management to reduce fuel;
• Better management of building in the wildland urban interface;
• Fire-resistant building codes;
• Defensible space practices; and
• Insurance coverage for those homeowners and businesses located in elevated fire areas.

In addition, we strongly believe this must include addressing California’s unsustainable policies regarding wildfire liability. California is one of the only states in the country where the courts have applied inverse condemnation liability to events associated with investor-owned utility equipment. This means PG&E could be liable for property damages and attorneys’ fees even if we followed established inspection and safety rules.

Liability regardless of negligence undermines the financial health of the state’s utilities, discourages investment in California and has the potential to materially impact the ability of utilities to access the capital markets to fund utility operations and California’s bold clean energy vision.

Extreme weather events driven by climate change are causing unprecedented wildfires and creating a “new normal” for our state. We are committed to advocating with legislative leaders and policymakers across the state on comprehensive legislative solutions for all Californians, as we collectively seek to meet the challenge of climate change, and position the California economy for success.

Sacramento County Fair is Nearly in Full Swing!

Sacramento, Calif., (5/23/18) – Midway of Fun, known as California’s Friendliest Carnival, will be bringing over 30 of the best and most enjoyable rides for the Sacramento County Fair, one of which is a fan-favorite, The Lolli Swings. This ride is known throughout the country as one of the best and is suitable for children and adults alike. The Sacramento County Fair and all of the amazing rides will be held at Cal Expo from May 24th through Memorial Day, May 28th.

Pamela Fyock, CEO of Sacramento County Fair, states, “We are looking forward to joining forces with Midway of Fun once again for this year’s Sacramento County Fair! We always love seeing the Fairgoers get excited about the abundance of rides. The Lolli Swings have always been a fair favorite.”

If you would like to enjoy The Lolli Swings ride as well as many others, the Unlimited Ride Wristbands are available for purchase online at sacfair.com. You can get the wristband at a discounted price until May 23rd. A single wristband is good for one full-day of rides at the Sacramento County Fair Carnival and does not include fair admission.
In addition, this year the Sacramento County Fair is doing something special, allowing a boy’s wish to come true. Terrell, 14, who battles leukemia, wishes to have his very own carnival; therefore, the Sacramento County Fairgrounds will open one day early, just for him.Not only does Terrell show bravery by fighting his critical illness, but he recently saved his neighbors in their apartment building after it caught on fire in Stockton.
At his carnival, Sutter Health (Adopt-A-Wish® sponsors) will be there to support him in his wish coming true as well as the Stockton Fire Department to recognize him as a local hero. Terrell will be enjoying the Swings as well as many other Midway of Fun rides on May 23rd.

Doors to the Sacramento County Fair are open to the public May 24th through 28th. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.sacfair.com or at the Sacramento County Fair office. Adult tickets are only $6.00, kids 12-and-under are FREE, and select events are discounted online until May 23rd. Join over 100,000 guests and experience more than 30 carnival rides, dozens of free exhibits, musical guests, and activities all Memorial Day Weekend.

For more information on the Fair and a daily schedule visit www.sacfair.com and #ShareTheFair on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SacramentoCountyFair/, Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/saccountyfair, and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacfair

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About the Sacramento County Fair
Over 100,000 guests will enjoy the Sacramento County Fair May 24 – 28, 2018 at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds. Nearly 10,000 school children will enjoy educational school tours. 5,000 local Sacramento residents will compete for awards in the livestock and competitive exhibit programs. Adult admission is only $6.00 and admission for kids 12-and-under is free every day of the Fair. This year, the Sacramento County Fair will be the biggest and best in its over 80-year history, and the theme is “Let’s Eat, Have Fun & Celebrate the Red, White & Blue.”

For more information please visit www.sacfair.com.
#ShareTheFair and follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SacramentoCountyFair/,
on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/saccountyfair, and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacfair

For media inquiries, please contact: Pamela Fyock
CEO, Sacramento County Fair pamelafyock@sacfair.com 916-263-2975

Meet the Sacramento County Fair’s Newest Ride – JUMBO!

Sacramento, Calif., (5/23/18) – Midway of Fun, known as California’s Friendliest Carnival, is returning to the Sacramento County Fair May 24th through 28th, this time with a new ride!

Named JUMBO, this ride has an elephant theme with the animals soaring 20 feet in the air! This is the latest in ride design and is imported from the Czech Republic. JUMBO is a true family attraction!

Pamela Fyock, CEO of Sacramento County Fair, exclaims, “We are thrilled to introduce JUMBO into the 30-plus rides that will be attending the Sacramento County Fair! This is sure to be a family favorite!”

If guests would like to enjoy rides at the Fair, the Unlimited Ride Wristbands are available for purchase online at sacfair.com. Wristband prices are discounted online until May 23rd. A single wristband is good for one full-day of rides at the Sacramento County Fair Carnival and does not include Fair admission.

In addition, the Sacramento County Fair is doing something special: allowing a boy’s wish to become a reality. Terrell, 14, is fighting leukemia, and his wish was to have a carnival of his very own. His Adopt-A-Wish® sponsors, Sutter Health is partnering with the Sacramento County Fair to make his wish come true. The Fairgrounds will open one day early, just for Terrell.

Doors to the Sacramento County Fair are open to the public May 24th through 28th. Tickets are available for purchase online at www.sacfair.com or at the Sacramento County Fair office. Adult tickets are only $6.00, kids 12-and-under are FREE, and select events are discounted online until May 23rd. Join over 100,000 guests and experience more than 30 carnival rides, dozens of free exhibits, musical guests, and activities all Memorial Day Weekend.

For more information on the Fair and a daily schedule visit www.sacfair.com and #ShareTheFair on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SacramentoCountyFair/, Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/saccountyfair, and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacfair

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About the Sacramento County Fair
Over 100,000 guests will enjoy the Sacramento County Fair May 24 – 28, 2018 at the Cal Expo Fairgrounds. Nearly 10,000 school children will enjoy educational school tours. 5,000 local Sacramento residents will compete for awards in the livestock and competitive exhibit programs. Adult admission is only $6.00 and admission for kids 12-and-under is free every day of the Fair. This year, the Sacramento County Fair will be the biggest and best in its over 80-year history, and the theme is “Let’s Eat, Have Fun & Celebrate the Red, White & Blue.”

For more information please visit www.sacfair.com.

#ShareTheFair and follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SacramentoCountyFair/,
on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/saccountyfair, and on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sacfair

For media inquiries, please contact: Pamela Fyock
CEO, Sacramento County Fair pamelafyock@sacfair.com 916-263-2975

First Dead Bird of the Season Tests Positive For West Nile Virus

Elk Grove, Ca.—The Sacramento-Yolo Mosquito and Vector Control District confirmed today that the first bird of the season has tested positive for West Nile virus. The American crow was collected south of Del Paso Heights in Sacramento and it is the first sign of West Nile virus activity for the 2018 season. “Finding the first positive bird is always significant because it provides an early warning sign for the disease,” said Gary Goodman, District Manager. “It confirms that the virus is present, provides a good indication of where we may find positive mosquito samples and where human cases may develop later in the season” added Goodman. This is the first indication of the virus within the District’s service area; however other counties throughout the state including neighboring El Dorado County have already started to register activity.

The public is encouraged to report dead birds by calling the California Department of Public Health hotline at 877-WNV-BIRD (877-968-2473). Some species of birds such as crows, jays and magpies are very susceptible to the virus. Though not all birds that are reported will be picked up and tested, the reports provide valuable information and assist with mosquito surveillance and control efforts that help protect public health.

In response to the detection of WNV activity, the District will increase its mosquito trapping and surveillance in the area to find sources where mosquitoes may be breeding.

Residents may visit www.FIGHTtheBITE.net to subscribe to mailing lists to receive email notifications for upcoming mosquito treatments by zip code. To sign up, go to Spray Notifications on the website.

To report a neglected swimming pool or other mosquito problems, please call 1-800-429-1022 or fill out a service request online at www.FIGHTtheBITE.net

2018 West Nile virus activity update:

Sacramento County: 1 dead bird has tested positive for West Nile virus to date.

Yolo County: No activity has been registered so far.

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To report stagnant water sources, request a home inspection or if you are being bothered by mosquitoes, please call 1-800-429-1022 or fill out a service request online at www.FIGHTtheBITE.net

Practice the District D’s of Mosquito Prevention:
DRAIN standing water that may produce mosquitoes.
DAWN and DUSK are times to avoid being outdoors.
DRESS appropriately be wearing long sleeves and pants when outside.
DEFEND yourself by using an effective insect repellent. Make sure to follow label directions!
DOOR and window screens should be in good working condition.
DISTRICT personnel are also available to address any mosquito problems. Call them at 1-800-429-1022 or visit www.FIGHTtheBITE.net

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.

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