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Pacific Gas and Electric Company Interconnects 25,000th Net Metered Solar Customer in Northern and Central California

Release Date: October 8, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO - Pacific Gas and Electric Company today celebrated the 25,000th net metered solar interconnection in its northern and central California service area, representing almost half of the nation’s customer-owned solar. Net energy metering allows eligible renewable customers to offset the cost of their electric usage with energy they export to the power grid. The 25,000th PG&E net metered solar customer, David Bower, is also part of the California Solar Initiative (CSI) program. To encourage customer investment in solar, PG&E provides rebate incentives that will total $4,500 for a system that supplies 2.4 kilowatts (kW) of power to Bower’s home.

“I applaud this significant solar energy milestone, which goes a long way toward helping California meet its long-term renewable energy and climate change goals,” said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. “Thousands of California homeowners are choosing to ‘Go Solar’ because it’s good for their pocketbooks and for the environment, and they are a huge part of the reason that California continues to lead the nation in solar adoption.”

PG&E’s goal in interconnecting solar customers is to provide cleaner energy for the state and help lower the cost of solar energy systems. PG&E is making this goal possible by providing incentives through the CSI program that will help bring the benefit of carbon-free power to residential and business customers. With the interconnection of the 25,000th net metered solar customer, PG&E continues its nationwide leadership in bringing customer-owned solar power to California, generating more than 200 megawatts of electricity, enough electricity to power about 50,000 homes annually. In fact, PG&E solar customers represent almost 50 percent of such solar systems interconnected in the United States.

“The City of San Francisco’s solar incentives, combined with PG&E’s incentives provided through the California Solar Initiative, allow us to infuse the city with a clean and reliable source of energy,” said San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom. “PG&E solar customers are national leaders in customer-owned solar generation, and San Francisco is proud to support solar adoption as part of our larger environmental commitment.”

Bower’s solar installation is expected to produce approximately 3,700 kilowatt-hours of renewable electricity every year. This will help avoid the emission of more than 2,000 pounds of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“I would like to congratulate PG&E’s 25,000th net metered solar customer, David Bower, on helping to make PG&E customers the leading adopters of solar energy in the country,” said Nancy McFadden, Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for PG&E. “By making the decision to ‘Go Solar,’ PG&E customers are helping solar generation become more cost effective and reliable than ever before.”

In 2008, the Solar Electric Power Association ranked PG&E first in the nation for solar on the customer side of the meter in both overall solar capacity and highest MW per customer. PG&E ranked second for total solar capacity, including utility owned, among all utilities in the U.S.

PG&E has provided more than $300 million in solar incentives to its customers through California’s Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) and the CSI program. Through CSI, PG&E has the potential to provide an additional $880 million in solar rebates. Since July 2007, PG&E has also contracted for over 2,500 megawatts of utility-scale solar to add to its power mix.

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/.

For more information about Pacific Gas and Electric Company and solar energy, please visit the company’s web site at www.pge.com/solar.

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