July 2015 Bill Inserts

Each month, PG&E offers important information on rebates, saving energy and safety in printed inserts that accompany your bill. Now, access this information online whenever you wish.

Visit ReadyforWildfire.org
On Peak Day Pricing Event Days, small changes can help lower your energy costs.
  1. Turn off unnecessary electronics.
    Turning off televisions, coffee makers and other non-essential electronics between 2 and 6 p.m. can make a difference in your energy costs.
  2. Lower your thermostats in the morning, then raise them during Peak Day Pricing Event hours (2–6 p.m.).
    Lowering thermostats to 70 degrees in the morning, then raising them at 2 p.m. to 78 degrees or higher conserves valuable electricity during Peak Day Pricing Event Hours.
Discover more easy ways to save on Peak Day Pricing Event Days »

Prepare for Peak Day Pricing Event Days in three easy steps
  1. Make sure your notification preferences are up-to-date. You don’t want to miss any Event Day notices. Check your preferences »
  2. Create an Event Day action plan. This will ensure you know what to do when an Event Day is called.
  3. Share your action plan with coworkers. With everyone working together, it’s easy to save energy and money.
What is a cross bore?
To help minimize sidewalk and landscaping damage, new service lines, like gas, electric and cable TV, are usually installed by drilling holes horizontally beneath the ground. A cross bore is when the new pipe or cable accidentally drills through another underground pipe or cable. This is an industry-wide issue.


When PG&E installs smaller natural gas lines using underground drilling, we utilize the Underground Service Alert to help prevent digging into other service lines. This free program notifies utility companies to mark the location of underground lines so you can safely dig and prevent damage. Some utilities, such as sewer or storm water systems, are not required by law to mark their lines and can go unmarked

Cross Boar

Why this is a safety concern
Our gas lines may intersect through a customer's sewer line.
The gas line can obstruct the flow and may eventually lead to a blockage or backup. A natural gas leak can occur if a plumber damages a gas line cross bore while cleaning a sewer line.

Preventing, identifying and repairing cross bores
PG&E has a dedicated program to proactively identify and repair cross bores through wastewater system inspections.


We also use video cameras to inspect some of our newly installed gas lines. If we identify a natural gas cross bore, PG&E will cover the cost of any associated sewer line repairs.

Do you have a sewer blockage or backup?
A clogged sewer line may be the result of a cross bore with a gas line. Take precautions before any sewer cleaning, talk to your plumber or contractor and encourage them to:


  • Use a camera to assess the cause of the blockage
  • Clear without a cutting tool when working on both sewer lines and drains by using a plumbing snake or water jet
  • Call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 if you have any concerns


Did you discover a gas line intersecting your sewer line?
Stop all work immediately and call 1-800-743-5000 to alert PG&E that you have identified a cross bore. We will safely remove the gas line and make any necessary repairs.


If you or your contractor accidentally damage a gas line, do not attempt to stop the flowing gas or extinguish any fire. Leave the area and move to an upwind location. Call 911, then contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

How to spot a gas leak
We monitor our gas pipeline operations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from our control center and we add a sulfur-like odorant to help detect leaks.


Smell: A rotten egg smell
Sound: A hissing, whistling or roaring sound
Sight: Dirt blowing into the air or continual bubbling in water (such as in your toilet bowl)

Suspect a gas leak?
  • Warn others and leave the area
  • Do not ignite a spark including using a cell phone
  • Call 911 or PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 from a safe location

For more cross bore information ».
Remember to always call 811 at least two working days before digging.
The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986, commonly referred to as Proposition 65, requires the governor to publish a list of chemicals “known to the State of California” to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. It also requires California businesses to warn the public quarterly of potential exposures to these chemicals that result from their operations.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) uses chemicals in our operations that are “known to the State of California” to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

For example, PG&E uses natural gas and petroleum products in our operations. PG&E also delivers natural gas to our customers. Petroleum products, natural gas and their combustion by-products contain chemicals “known to the State of California” to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

Spot the Signs of Trouble
PG&E regularly inspects all our pipelines for possible leaks or other signs of damage. As an additional safety precaution, we add a sulfur-like odor to natural gas. If you smell this distinctive “rotten egg” odor, move to a safe location up-wind from the suspected leak and immediately call 911 and PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

Other signs of a possible gas leak can include:
  • Dirt spraying into the air
  • Continual bubbling in a pond or creek
  • Dead or dying vegetation in an otherwise moist area
  • Hissing, whistling or roaring sounds coming from underground or from a gas appliance

More Gas Safety Information »

For additional information on this Proposition 65 warning, write to:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Proposition 65 Coordinator
77 Beale Street, Mail Code B28S
PO Box 770000
San Francisco, CA 94177

Summary
On May 28, 2015, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for approval to increase rates for the recovery of expenses recorded in the electric Catastrophic Event Memorandum Account (CEMA). The 2015 CEMA Application seeks recovery of $26.6 million in expenses incurred in 2014 to comply with directives by California Governor Jerry Brown and the CPUC.

Background
On June 12, 2014, the CPUC approved Resolution ESRB-4 (the Resolution). This Resolution is in accordance with Governor Brown's drought State of Emergency proclamation. PG&E has an ongoing vegetation management program to ensure the safety of its electric distribution system. The Resolution ordered PG&E to take additional measures to reduce the likelihood of fires associated with drought-stricken vegetation near PG&E's electric distribution facilities. In 2014 PG&E introduced several programs to help reduce the risk of fire ignition from its electric distribution facilities or from drought-stricken vegetation damaging facilities, including:

  • Additional inspections of its electric distribution facilities in high fire risk areas
  • Funding California Fire Safe Councils' fire fuel reduction programs
  • Installation of lookout cameras in forested areas crossed by PG&E's electric distribution facilities

California state law allows PG&E to record expenses to the CEMA for complying with state and federal orders associated with declared emergencies. This application will be examined by the CPUC to determine if costs are reasonable and eligible for recovery from customers before any rate increase will be approved. PG&E will continue to undertake additional drought fire risk mitigation activities to ensure continued safety and electric reliability for communities we serve as long as the drought persists.

How will PG&E's application affect me?
If approved, this application would result in a rate increase that would start at the next electric rate change following a final decision in this proceeding.

The chart below illustrates the proposed changes in rates for bundled service customers, those who receive electric generation as well as transmission and distribution service from PG&E. The distribution of these rate changes to each customer class ultimately depends on the CPUC's final decision.

Projected Electric Rate Changes

If the application is approved, PG&E estimates that a typical residential customer using 500 kWh per month would see an average bill increase of $0.23 (or 0.3 percent), from $89.30 to $89.53. Individual customers' bills will differ. The CPUC regulates and oversees all requests for any rate changes.

How will PG&E's application affect non-bundled customers?
Direct Access (DA) and Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) customers receive electric transmission and distribution service from PG&E. Since PG&E does not buy energy for these customers, this application only seeks recovery of electric distribution expenses. DA and CCA customers are responsible for a portion of the costs so the net impact of this application on DA and CCA customers is an increase of approximately $2 million, or an average increase of 0.01 percent.

Another category of non-bundled customers are Departing Load customers. These customers do not receive electric generation, transmission or distribution services from PG&E for their departing load; however, they are required to pay certain non-bypassable charges. The net impact on Departing Load customers is a decrease of approximately $3,000, or an average decrease of 0.01 percent.

How do I find out more about PG&E's proposals?
If you have questions about PG&E's filings, please contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. For TDD/TTY (speech-hearing impaired), call 1-800-652-4712.

If you would like a copy of PG&E's application and exhibits, please write to PG&E at the address below.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
CEMA 2015
P.O. Box 7442
San Francisco, CA 94120

A copy of this is also available for review at the CPUC, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–noon or on the CPUC's website at cpuc.ca.gov/puc.

CPUC process
This application will be assigned to an Administrative Law Judge (Judge) who will determine how to receive evidence and other related documents, necessary for the CPUC to establish a record upon which to base its decision. Evidentiary hearings may be held where parties of record will present their testimony and may be subject to cross-examination by other parties. These evidentiary hearings are open to the public, but only those who are parties of record can participate.

After considering all proposals and evidence presented during the formal hearing process, the assigned Judge will issue a proposed decision which may adopt PG&E's proposal, modify it or deny it. Any CPUC Commissioner may sponsor an alternate decision. The proposed decision, and any alternate decisions, will be discussed and voted upon at a scheduled CPUC Voting Meeting.

As a party of record, the Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA) will review this application. ORA is the independent consumer advocate within the CPUC with a legislative mandate to represent investor-owned utility customers to obtain the lowest possible rate for service consistent with reliable and safe service levels. ORA has a multi-disciplinary staff with expertise in economics, finance, accounting and engineering. Other parties of record will also participate in the CPUC's proceeding to consider this application. For more information about ORA, please call (415) 703-1584, email ora@cpuc.ca.gov or visit ORA's website at ora.ca.gov/default.aspx.

Stay Informed
If you would like to follow this proceeding, or any other issue before the CPUC, you may use the CPUC's free subscription service. Sign up at: subscribecpuc.cpuc.ca.gov.

If you would like to learn how you can participate in the proceeding, or if you have informal comments about the application, or questions about the CPUC processes, you may access the CPUC’s Public Advisor's Office (PAO) webpage at cpuc.ca.gov/puc and click on "Public Advisor" from the CPUC Information Menu. You may also contact the PAO as follows.

Email: public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov

Mail:
Public Advisor's Office
505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2103
San Francisco, CA 94102

Call:
1-866-849-8390 (toll-free) or (415) 703-2074
TTY: 1-866-836-7825 (toll-free) or (415) 703-5282

If you are writing or emailing the Public Advisor's Office, please include the proceeding number (CEMA, A.15-05-016). All comments will be circulated to the Commissioners, the assigned Judge and the CPUC staff and will become public record.

Summary
On June 1, 2015, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) Company filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requesting approval for the forecasted funding required in 2016 to obtain electricity on behalf of its customers. In addition, PG&E also requests approval of forecasted revenues from the sale of emissions allowances associated with California's Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reduction program. This application is referred to as the 2016 Energy Resource Recovery Account and Generation Non-bypassable Charges Forecast and Greenhouse Gas Forecast Revenue and Reconciliation (Application 15-06-001). If approved, this application will change electrical rates and customers' electric bills effective January 2016.

PG&E's application primarily includes requests for approval of:

  1. The forecasted recovery of $4.77 billion in electricity costs. These costs are associated with the fuel needed to produce electricity as well as the costs of buying electricity from third parties, such as renewable energy producers
  2. The forecast spending of $0.8 million for administrative and outreach expenses associated with California's GHG reduction program
  3. The return of $311 million to eligible customers from the sale of emissions allowances

The use of all funds collected and the exact amounts of returned revenues from the GHG program may change and are subject to CPUC regulatory approval.

About the filing
The CPUC regulates and oversees all requests for any rate changes. PG&E would not profit from any of the requests in this application. The cost of energy is passed directly to PG&E's customers without any markup. If the CPUC approves the application, PG&E will begin to recover its costs in electric rates, effective January 1, 2016. At the same time, PG&E will apply eligible GHG allowance revenue to rates because PG&E is required to pass the revenue received from the sale of allowances on to its customers. This is done through rates and with California Climate Credits. The revenue will be returned to PG&E's residential, small business customers and some industrial customers, based on legislative and CPUC determined methods. The GHG allowance revenue bill credits reduce the electric rate impacts of the GHG costs. At the end of 2016, to ensure all funds are used on the customers' behalf, PG&E will compare the actual costs to produce and purchase energy against revenues collected from customers and will incorporate any differences in next year’s application.

How will PG&E's application affect me?
PG&E’s request would result in a rate decrease for most customers. Altogether, PG&E proposes to reduce revenues collected from bundled service customers, those who receive electrical production, as well as transmission and distribution service from PG&E, by $322 million.

The chart below illustrates the proposed changes in rates. The change in rates for each customer class ultimately depends on the CPUC's final decision. While overall electricity rates would decrease as a result of this filing, residential rates would remain at essentially the same levels because residential customers are receiving a larger Climate Credit annually in April and October than what is projected for 2016.

Projected Electric Rate Changes by Class

PG&E estimates that a typical residential customer using 500 kWh per month would see no change in the average bill of $89.30. Individual customers' bill will differ. Eligible residential customers will receive a California Climate Credit twice a year in April and October on their electricity bills of approximately $20.94.

How will PG&E's application affect non-bundled customers?
Direct Access (DA) and Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) customers only receive electric transmission and distribution service from PG&E. Since PG&E does not obtain energy for these customers, PG&E’s application addresses the cost responsibility of DA customers and CCA customers that purchase electricity from another provider but transport it through PG&E’s electrical system. Eligible DA and CCA customers will receive GHG revenues. The net impact of PG&E’s application on DA and CCA customers is $63 million, or an average increase of 6.9 percent.

Another category of non-bundled customers is Departing Load (DL) customers. These customers do not receive electric generation, transmission or distribution services from PG&E for their departing load. However, like DA and CCA customers, they are required to pay certain non-bypassable charges as required by law or Commission decision. The net impact on DL customers is -$0.4 million, or an average decrease of 1.4 percent.

How do I find out more about PG&E's proposals?
If you have questions about PG&E's filings, please contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. For TDD/TTY (speech-hearing impaired), call 1-800-652-4712.

If you would like a copy of PG&E's filing and exhibits, please write to PG&E at the address below:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
2016 ERRA & GHG
P.O. Box 7442
San Francisco, CA 94120

A copy of PG&E's filing and exhibits are also available for review at the CPUC, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–noon. PG&E's application (without exhibits) is available on the CPUC's website at cpuc.ca.gov/puc.

CPUC process
This application will be assigned to an Administrative Law Judge (Judge) who will determine how to receive evidence and other related documents, necessary for the CPUC to establish a record upon which to base its decision. Evidentiary hearings may be held where parties of record will present their testimony and may be subject to cross-examination by other parties. These evidentiary hearings are open to the public, but only those who are parties of record can participate.

After considering all proposals and evidence presented during the formal hearing process, the assigned Judge will issue a proposed decision which may adopt PG&E’s proposal, modify it or deny it. Any CPUC Commissioner may sponsor an alternate decision. The proposed decision, and any alternate decisions, will be discussed and voted upon at a scheduled CPUC Voting Meeting.

As a party of record, the Office of Ratepayer Advocates (ORA) will review this application. ORA is the independent consumer advocate within the CPUC with a legislative mandate to represent investor-owned utility customers to obtain the lowest possible rate for service consistent with reliable and safe service levels. ORA has a multi-disciplinary staff with expertise in economics, finance, accounting and engineering. Other parties of record will also participate in the CPUC’s proceeding to consider this application. For more information about ORA, please call (415) 703-1584, email ora@cpuc.ca.gov or visit ORA's website at ora.ca.gov/default.aspx.

Stay Informed
If you would like to follow this proceeding, or any other issue before the CPUC, you may use the CPUC's free subscription service. Sign up at: subscribecpuc.cpuc.ca.gov.

If you would like to learn how you can participate in the proceeding, or if you have informal comments about the application, or questions about the CPUC processes, you may access the CPUC’s Public Advisor's Office (PAO) webpage at cpuc.ca.gov/puc and click on "Public Advisor" from the CPUC Information Menu. You may also contact the PAO as follows.

Email: public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov

Mail:
Public Advisor's Office
505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2103
San Francisco, CA 94102

Call:
1-866-849-8390 (toll-free) or (415) 703-2074
TTY: 1-866-836-7825 (toll-free) or (415) 703-5282

If you are writing or emailing the Public Advisor’s Office, please include the proceeding number (ERRA & GHG, A.15-06-001).

All comments will be circulated to the Commissioners, the assigned Judge and appropriate CPUC staff, and will become public record.

  • Energy House Calls
  • Exterior Lighting
  • Hospitality incentives
 
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