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Natural Gas Watch December Natural Gas Bills Almost 5 Percent Higher Than a Year Ago

Release Date: December 3, 2007
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

As we enter another winter season, natural gas bills for Pacific Gas and Electric Company's residential customers are forecast to be almost five percent higher this December, compared to December 2006, with total average gas bills expected to be $80.18 for the month. This increase is driven by a 14.5 percent higher cost of purchasing natural gas on behalf of our customers.

Gas prices across the United States have increased since last month as customer demand has followed typical seasonal patterns. These price increases have been somewhat tempered by the high levels of gas in storage, suggesting that the market should be well supplied with natural gas, even during periods of significantly colder than normal weather. Natural gas costs could rise or fall in the winter months, depending on weather and market conditions, but PG&E has worked to protect our customers from severe price spikes through smart purchasing decisions, financial hedging against price spikes, and using our extensive pipeline and storage infrastructure to help lower gas purchase costs.

PG&E offers several options to manage your winter energy costs, including tips for reducing gas use, rebates on efficient equipment, and a 10/20 Plus Winter Gas Savings program. PG&E also offers a number of financial assistance options to help customers with high natural gas bills. See www.pge.com/winter for more details. A forecast of PG&E natural gas rates and bills over the next year is also available at www.pge.com/tariffs.

Residential Natural Gas Cost Comparison

AVERAGE RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER December-07 November-07 Percentage Change December-06 Percentage Change
Therms of Gas Used 59 32 84.4% 61 -3.3%
Cost of Gas Procurement (per therm) $0.882 $0.852 3.5% $0.770 14.5%
Average Transportation Charge (per therm) $0.438 $0.438 0.0% $0.434 0.9%
Total Rate $1.320 $1.290 2.3% $1.204 9.6%
Public Purpose Program (PPP) Surcharge $0.039 $0.039 0.0% $0.050 -22.0%
Total Rate (including PPP Surcharge) $1.359 $1.329 2.3% $1.254 8.4%
Total Natural Gas Bills (including PPP Surcharge) $80.18 $42.53 88.5% $76.49 4.8%

Notes: Beginning in December 2007, PG&E has revised the average residential therms of gas used in computing the average natural gas bills to better reflect actual and forecast usage of the typical single family residential gas customer. December and November 2007 reflects forecast usage, and December 2006 reflects actual usage, for the average single family residential gas customer. Totals may not match exactly due to rounding.

Therm: A measurement for natural gas. One therm contains thermal energy equivalent to 100,000 British thermal units.
Procurement: The weighted average cost of natural gas supply and transportation to PG&E's local transmission system. Procurement rates change monthly to reflect a new cost of gas.
Transportation: Gas transportation and delivery to PG&E's customers. Rate reflects an annual average of baseline rates and excess over baseline rates.
Gas Public Purpose Program (PPP) Surcharge: Mandated gas social programs.


For more information about Pacific Gas and Electric Company, please visit the company's website at www.pge.com.

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