More than 1.6 Million PG&E Customers Qualify for Rebates Under 10/20 Plus Winter Gas Savings Program
Release Date: April 21, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930
SAN FRANCISCO - For the third consecutive year, Pacific Gas and Electric Company has rewarded customers who successfully took steps to cut their natural gas usage during the winter compared with their usage over the prior three winters. More than 1.6 million PG&E natural gas customers qualified for rebates under the 10/20 Plus Winter Gas Savings Program. Nearly 40% of PG&E's gas customers qualified for a total of more than $42 million in rebates.
Qualifying residential customers received an average credit of $18, small commercial customers received an average credit of $110, and large commercial customers received an average credit of $7,024.
"Once again, our customers have shown they are ready, willing and able to do their part in making California a leader in energy conservation, and we are very happy to be able to reward those efforts," said Helen Burt, PG&E senior vice president and chief customer officer. "With natural gas prices at very high levels across the nation, and expected to increase even more, energy efficiency is critical. We hope our customers will continue to do what they can to conserve."
The news of PG&E's customers' efforts to conserve natural gas comes at a time when experts are predicting natural gas prices will continue to increase. The Energy Information Agency has said global demand for natural gas will continue driving prices higher. While PG&E partners with customers to help them make efficient choices in their use of natural gas, as of today, we believe natural gas prices will trend higher in the future, particularly when the heating season returns in fall 2008.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company created the 10/20 Plus Program as a conservation incentive to encourage customers -- residential, business, agricultural, and government entities -- to reduce natural gas use during the winter, which in turn helps keep the overall market price of natural gas down. The incentive, a bill credit of up to 20 percent, was available to almost all natural gas customers.
To earn the 10/20 Plus Program credit, qualifying customers simply had to reduce their cumulative natural gas usage during January and February below the three-year historical average at their home or business. For every 1 percent decrease in usage, customers received a 1 percent credit up to 9 percent. Customers who reduced their usage by 10 percent or more received a 20 percent bill credit. Almost all PG&E customers were eligible and automatically enrolled in the 10/20 Plus Program.
PG&E does not profit from its sales of natural gas, nor from higher gas prices. Instead the company receives a regulated fee for delivering the product to its retail customers. This delivery charge does not change based on the cost of natural gas.
PG&E is also helping customers reduce their energy use through conservation and energy efficiency programs, including rebates for energy efficient appliances, on-line energy audits, and through programs to help low income households.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in northern and central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/.