December 2013 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.

GasPipelineSafety 
Natural gas safety: Call 811 before you dig
Always call 811 at least two working days before starting any project that involves digging to have underground utility lines located and marked for free.

Gas pipeline locations
PG&E operates natural gas distribution and transmission pipelines across California. Our distribution pipelines are located throughout neighborhoods and connect to homes and businesses.

Our transmission pipelines carry gas from one part of the state to another and connect to our distribution system. We offer a comprehensive online map showing our transmission pipelines at pge.com/pipelinelocations. You can view any location in our service area—your home, place of work or any other areas of interest—to see if transmission pipelines run nearby.

Also, the National Pipeline Mapping System, www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov, shows the location of all transmission pipelines in the United States, viewable by county, zip code or street address.

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

But don’t rely on your nose alone. 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.

In case of emergency
You can help prevent a natural gas pipeline fire. If you suspect a gas leak, leave the area immediately and move upwind, to a safe place. Then call 911 to notify local police and fire and contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

Warn others nearby to stay away from the area. Until you are a safe distance away, do not light a match or operate any device that might create a spark, including electric switches, doorbells, radios, televisions, cell phones and garage door openers.

Before you dig, know what’s below
Damage from excavation is a common cause of pipeline accidents. Even if you are planting a new bush or digging a fence post in your own yard, you must always call 811 Underground Service Alert (USA) at least two working days before you dig. USA is a free service that will notify underground utility operators in the area of your planned work. PG&E will then locate and mark our underground gas and electric facilities.

Always be aware of pipeline markers. Markers include an emergency number and indicate the need for extra care around a high-volume transmission line. These markers specify the approximate location, but not all pipelines follow a straight path between markers. If you or your contractor accidently digs into a gas pipeline, do not attempt to stop the flowing gas or extinguish any fire.

Leave the area immediately and move to a safe location. Then call 911 to notify local police and fire and contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

Safety is PG&E’s highest responsibility
We monitor our gas pipeline operations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we conduct regular inspections and surveys on pipelines.

Find out more about our comprehensive safety and monitoring program visit pge.com/safety.

To watch a video with tips for how to safely dig near underground pipelines visit Call Before You Dig.

For more information about gas pipeline safety, contact us at the numbers below:
For assistance in English please call 1-888-743-7431.
Para ayuda en español, por favor llame al 1-800-660-6789.
要用粵語/國語請求協助,請致電 1-800-893-9555.
Kung kailangang makipag-usap sa nakakasalita ng Tagalog, tumawag sa 1-888-641-5019.

It’s easy! Learn how to enroll in paperless statements today.
AgRrateImage
As a Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) agriculture customer, you may be eligible for one of the rate plans summarized below. Your current rate plan can be found at the beginning of the account detail (Detail of Charges) section of your energy statement, or online at pge.com/MyRateAnalysis. PG&E offers a variety of no-cost, easy-to-use online tools in My Energy to evaluate different rate plans. You can see detailed information about your current gas and electric use, compare rate plans to determine the best option, and use the Business Energy Checkup tool to provide a personalized action plan for conserving energy and saving money.

ELECTRIC RATE PLANS

AG-1 is for eligible customers who do not elect to be on Time-of-Use rates. This rate is not available to customers whose meter registers a maximum demand of 200 kilowatt (kW) or more for three consecutive months. Demand is a measurement of your facility’s highest electricity use at any 15– or 5–minute interval during a monthly billing cycle. This rate plan is being eliminated in stages: after 12 months of interval data AG-1 customers must transition to AG-4 Time-of-Use on their March billing date of the next year.

Time-of-Use† is an electric rate in which the price of electricity varies by time of day. Prices are higher during peak hours on weekday afternoons when demand is higher, typically noon to 6 p.m., May through October. In return, rates are lower than the peak rate at all other times. Selecting a Time-of-Use plan may entail an interval meter upgrade to track energy use, which requires clear access to install. In most cases there is no charge for this upgrade.

AG-4 is a Time-of-Use rate plan for customers with low to moderate annual operating hours. AG-4 customers on the "B" and "E" class with a single motor of at least 35 horsepower (HP) or multiple motors of at least 15 HP may save money by transitioning to the "C" class. The "C" rate plan is ideal if use can be minimized during peak and partial peak hours on summer and winter weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

AG-5 is a Time-of-Use rate plan for customers with higher annual operating hours and demand. AG-5 customers on the "B" and "E" class with a single motor of at least 35 HP or multiple motors of at least 15 HP may save money by transitioning to the "C" class. The "C" rate plan is ideal if use can be minimized during peak and partial peak hours on summer and winter weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Net Energy Metering Service (NEM, NEMFC) pricing plans are for customers who operate a qualified generating facility, such as solar, wind, or fuel cell with a maximum total capacity of 1,000 kW or less. These rates are available when eligible electricity is generated and offsets all or part of a customer’s electric load when connected to the PG&E grid. Customers may interconnect more than one generator, each subject to different rate treatment (for example, NEMFC and NEM solar), on a single account.
To learn more about Net Energy Metering services, visit pge.com/gen, or contact PG&E at gen@pge.com.

Small Renewable Generators (E-SRG)
is available for renewable generators up to 1.5 megawatts. For more information, email gen@pge.com.

Peak Day Pricing combines a Time-of-Use rate with Peak Day Pricing Event Day surcharges. Participants in this program are incentivized to reduce electric use on a few days throughout the year when demand is highest—between 9 and 15 "event days" annually. A higher rate is charged during peak times on event days. In return, between May 1 and October 31, customers receive credits for electricity use. Bill protection is provided for the first year, so customers can participate without risk.

Bundled service agricultural customers with a demand greater than or equal to 200 kW for three consecutive months have started transitioning automatically to Peak Day Pricing. Other eligibility criteria and exclusions apply.
To learn more about Peak Day Pricing visit pge.com/pdp.

California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)
provides agricultural customers a monthly discount on energy bills for qualifying agricultural housing facilities.
To learn more about the CARE program visit pge.com/CARE.

DEMAND RESPONSE PROGRAMS
Demand Bidding Program (E-DBP) offers incentives to customers on a demand Time-of-Use rate plan for reducing their energy consumption when requested by PG&E. AG-R (Split-Week Time-of-Use Agricultural) and AG-V (Short-Peak Time-of-Use Agricultural) customers are not eligible for E-DBP. AG-R and AG-V rate plans are closed to new enrollment and will be eliminated beginning March 2014 for customers with 12 months of interval data.

Base Interruptible Program (E-BIP) offers incentives to customers on a demand Time-of-Use rate plan for reducing their energy consumption down to or below a pre-selected firm service level when requested by PG&E. AG-R and AG-V customers are not eligible for E-BIP.

Capacity Bidding Program (E-CBP) offers incentives to customers on commercial, industrial or agricultural electric rate plans for reducing energy consumption by a nominated capacity amount when requested by PG&E.
† Daylight saving time will begin March 9, 2014. To adjust for this, from March 9, 2014 to April 5, 2014 your Time-of-Use periods will begin and end one hour later. To learn more about Demand Response programs, visit pge.com/demandresponse.

* For Direct Access (DA) and Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) customers, PG&E delivers the electricity to your business, and your DA or CCA provider purchases and/or generates the electricity you consume. Net Metering, CCA and DA customers are eligible for many, but not all, of the rate plans or features of rate plans listed in this notice. For more information, call the numbers below or call your DA or CCA provider.
Summary
On October 29, 2013, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) presenting the results of its Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure Validation Project and records search, as well as updating its revenue requirements and rates associated with the Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan, described below.

About the program
In Decision (D.) 11-06-017, the CPUC required all California gas transmission operators to file a Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Replacement or Testing Implementation Plan to pressure test or replace all in-service natural gas transmission pipelines that have not previously been pressure tested. PG&E filed its Implementation Plan on August 26, 2011, proposing a scope of work, revenue requirements and rates for the years 2011-2014. PG&E’s Implementation Plan includes a pipeline Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure Validation Project, which contains a comprehensive search of records including all pipeline strength tests and pipeline features data necessary to recalculate the Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure of pipelines, and validation for all of PG&E’s gas transmission pipelines.

On December 28, 2012, the CPUC issued D. 12-12-030, approving PG&E’s Pipeline Modernization scope of work and ordering PG&E to file an application after the completion of its Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure Validation Project and records search to present the results of those efforts, and update its authorized revenue requirements and rates. PG&E has completed its Validation Project. Consistent with the outcome of PG&E’s Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure Validation Project, PG&E requests the authority to reduce its previously approved revenue requirements for 2012-2014 by $52.7 million.

How will PG&E’s application affect me?
Upon CPUC approval of this application, a typical residential customer using 37 therms per month would see an average monthly gas bill decrease of $.06 (or 0.13%), from $44.87 to $44.81 based on rates in effect in 2013. A typical small business customer using 287 therms per month would see an average monthly gas bill decrease of $0.44 (or 0.16%), from $266.68 to $266.24. Individual customers’ bills may differ.

PG&E’s proposed revenue requirement reduction will not compromise the safety of PG&E’s customers. PG&E‘s pipeline strength testing and replacement program remains a key operational commitment and priority for the company. PG&E proposes to reduce the scope of future work in light of records found, re-prioritization of certain activities and other information learned during the Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure Validation consistent with the CPUC’s decision.

How do I find out more about PG&E’s application?
You can view PG&E’s application and exhibits at pge.com/RegCases. Select “PSEP Update” from the Cases dropdown menu.

If you have questions about PG&E’s application, 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
Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan Compliance Update
P.O. Box 7442
San Francisco, CA 94120

A copy of PG&E’s application 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 www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc.

How does the CPUC’s decision making process work?
The application will be reviewed through the CPUC formal administrative law process. The application will be assigned to a CPUC Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ presides over the proceeding, which may include evidentiary hearings often held in a proceeding to give parties of record an opportunity to present evidence or cross-examine witnesses. Members of the public may attend but not participate in these hearings. The hearings and documents submitted in the proceeding become part of the formal record that the ALJ relies upon in writing a proposed decision to present to the five-member Commission.

Any CPUC Commissioner may issue an alternate decision. The proposed and any alternate decisions are acted upon at a CPUC voting meeting. When the CPUC acts on this application, it may adopt all or part of PG&E’s request, modify it or deny the application.

If you would like to follow this proceeding or any other issue before the CPUC, you may utilize the CPUC’s free and confidential subscription service. Sign up at: http://subscribecpuc.cpuc.ca.gov.

If you would like to learn how you can participate in this proceeding, or if you have comments or questions, you may access the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s website at www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc and click on “Public Advisor” from the CPUC Information menu. You can also:
Email:
public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov

Mail:

Public Advisor’s Office
505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2103
San Francisco, CA 94102

Call:

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

If you are writing or emailing the Public Advisor’s Office, please include the application number (A13-10-017). All comments will be circulated to the Commissioners, the assigned ALJ and the CPUC staff.

Questions have been raised about the possible health effects of 60-hertz (power frequency) electric and magnetic fields (EMF*), which are found wherever you have electric power. This insert contains information that will help you understand the EMF issue, plus practical tips you can use to reduce your exposure at home and at work.

Campos Eléctricos y Magnéticos (EMF, por sus siglas en inglés): Si desea recibir información en español, comuníquese con Pacific Gas and Electric Company al 1-800-660-6789.

Can EMF Harm Your Health?
Electric and magnetic fields are present wherever electricity flows—around appliances and power lines, and in offices, schools and homes. Many researchers believe that if there is a risk of adverse health effects from usual residential exposures to EMF, it is probably just at the detection limit of human health studies; nonetheless, the possible risk warrants further investigation. The varying results from epidemiological studies, which looked at estimated EMF exposures and childhood leukemia, are consistent with a weak link. Laboratory studies, including studies investigating a possible mechanism for health effects (mechanistic studies), provide little or no evidence to support this weak link.

The results from many research studies have been evaluated by international, national and California EMF research programs to determine whether EMF poses any health risk. Given the uncertainty of the issue, the medical and scientific communities have been unable to conclude that usual residential exposures to EMF cause health effects, or to establish any standard or level of residential exposure that is known to be either safe or harmful. These conclusions remain unchanged by recent studies.

World Health Organization Findings
The World Health Organization (WHO) completed a review of the potential health implications of extremely low frequency (ELF) EMF, which includes power-frequency fields. Their conclusions and recommendations were presented in June 2007 in a report known as the Extremely Low Frequency Fields, Environmental Health Criteria Monograph No. 238.

The WHO report concluded that evidence for a link between ELF magnetic fields and childhood leukemia “is not strong enough to be considered causal but sufficiently strong to remain a concern.” “Virtually all of the laboratory evidence and the mechanistic evidence fail to support” this reported association. For all other diseases, there is inadequate or no evidence of health effects at low exposure levels.

The report emphasized that, given the weakness of the evidence for health effects, the health benefits of exposure reduction are unclear and adopting policies based on arbitrary low exposure limits is not warranted. In light of this situation, WHO made these and other recommendations:

  • National authorities should implement communication programs with all stakeholders to enable informed decision-making, including how individuals can reduce their own exposure.
  • Policy makers and community planners should implement very low-cost measures to reduce exposures when constructing new facilities and designing new equipment, including appliances.
  • Policy makers should establish guidelines for ELF field exposure for both the general public and workers. The best source of guidance for both exposure levels and the principles of scientific review are the international guidelines.
  • Government and industry should promote research to reduce the uncertainty of the scientific evidence on the health effects of ELF field exposure. Several recommended research projects are already under way through the Electric Power Research Institute, of which Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is a member.

To view the full report and a fact sheet summarizing it, visit www.who.int/peh-emf and click on EMF publications & information resources.

EMF Chart

What You Can Do
In a situation of scientific uncertainty and public concern, WHO recommended that utilities explore "very low-cost" ways to reduce EMF exposure from new or upgraded facilities. PG&E and other California public utilities have been pursuing no-cost and low-cost measures to reduce EMF levels from new utility transmission lines and substation projects. You, too, may want to take no-cost and low-cost measures to reduce your EMF exposure at home and at work.

Human studies have not produced a consensus about any health benefits from changing the way people use electric appliances. However, if you feel reducing your EMF exposure would be beneficial, you can increase your distance from electric appliances and limit the amount of time you use appliances at home or at work.

For instance, you can place phone answering machines and electric clocks away from the head of your bed. Increasing your distance from these and other appliances such as televisions, computer monitors and microwave ovens can reduce your EMF exposure.

You can also reduce your EMF exposure by limiting the time you spend using personal appliances such as hair dryers, electric razors, heating pads and electric blankets. You may also want to limit the time you spend using electric cooking appliances.

You can locate the sources of EMF in your work environment, and spend break time in lower-field areas.

It is not known whether such actions will have any impact on your health.

For More Information
Call PG&E for a free information package or home or business measurements at 1-800-743-5000.

Additional information is also available at these links:
World Health Organization International EMF Project:
Visit www.who.int/peh-emf for EMF information, including fact sheets, research completed and scientific journal articles.

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences:
Visit www.niehs.nih.gov/health and click on Brochures & Fact Sheets, then select EMFs in English or Spanish.

California Department of Health Services:
Visit www.ehib.org/emf

California Public Utilities Commission:
Visit www.cpuc.ca.gov and enter "EMF Actions" in the Search box.

Reviewed by: California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)

Summary
On November 22, 2013, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) filed with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), a request to change certain residential rates, to be effective by the summer of 2014, as described below. The request complies with a ruling from the CPUC inviting electric utilities to file proposals that will better align rates with the actual costs of providing electric service and to simplify rate plans.

About the Proposals
On October 7, 2013, Assembly Bill 327 (AB 327) was signed into law. This new law authorizes the CPUC to consider several changes to California’s electricity rate structure to better serve customers. Through this filing, PG&E is requesting approval to begin reforming its residential electric rate structure consistent with AB 327.

This proposed request will not change the amount of total revenues collected by PG&E. If adopted, some residential customers would see bill decreases or bill increases, depending upon their monthly usage levels and their rate plan. PG&E proposes:
  • To change the residential electric rate structure by reducing the number of electric pricing tiers for non-CARE standard residential and time-of-use rate plans, from its current 4 tiers to 3 tiers. These changes will better align rates with the costs of providing electric service to customers.

OIR Chart A

  • An initial step to reduce the effective California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) discount in order to begin a transition towards the 30-35 percent discount range required by AB 327. The proposal will reduce the average discount for customers on the CARE program from the current average discount of 48 percent to 43 percent. Under the proposed changes, CARE customers would still receive a substantial overall savings compared to rates paid by non-CARE customers.
  • To reduce the Public Purpose Program (PPP) charge, as a result of reducing the CARE discount. The CARE surcharge portion of the PPP surcharge that is paid by most residential and non-residential customers is expected to decrease by 26 percent from a per-unit charge of 0.844 cent per kWh to 0.626 cent per kWh.

How will PG&E’s proposals affect me?
Most customers receive bundled electric service from PG&E, meaning that we provide electric generation, transmission and distribution service. The table below illustrates monthly bill impacts for bundled residential customers at three usage levels, who are geographically located in baseline territory X.
OIR Chart B
Rate and bill impacts for DA/CCA customers.
Direct Access (DA) and Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) customers only receive electric transmission and distribution service from PG&E. DA/CCA customers are charged the same electric distribution and Public Purpose Program rate as bundled service customers and likewise the CARE surcharge portion of the PPP rate is expected to decrease by 26 percent.

Another category of non-bundled customers are Departing Load (DL) customers. DL customers do not receive electric generation, transmission or distribution services from PG&E. However, like DA and CCA customers, they are required to pay certain procurement-related charges, such as the Public Purpose Program rate, as bundled electric service customers.

How do I find out more about PG&E’s application?
If you have questions about PG&E’s supplemental filing, 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 supplemental filing and exhibits, please write to PG&E at the address below:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Summer 2014 Residential Rate Reform (R.12-06-013, Phase 2)
P.O. Box 7442 San Francisco, CA 94120

A copy of PG&E’s supplemental 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 supplemental filing (without exhibits) is available on the CPUC’s website at www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc.

How does the CPUC’s decision-making process work?
This supplemental filing will be reviewed through the CPUC formal administrative law process. The filed proposals will be assigned to a CPUC Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). The ALJ presides over the proceeding, which may include evidentiary hearings often held in a proceeding to give parties of record an opportunity to present evidence or cross-examine witnesses. Members of the public may attend but not participate in these hearings. The hearings and documents submitted in the proceeding become part of the formal record that the ALJ relies upon in writing a proposed decision to present to the five-member Commission.

Any CPUC Commissioner may issue an alternate decision. The proposed and any alternate decisions are acted upon at a CPUC voting meeting. When the CPUC acts on this supplemental filing, it may adopt all or part of PG&E’s request, modify them or deny the request.

If you would like to follow this proceeding or any other issue before the CPUC, you may utilize the CPUC’s free and confidential subscription service. Sign up at: http://subscribecpuc.cpuc.ca.gov/.

If you would like to learn how you can participate in this proceeding, or if you have comments or questions, you may access the CPUC’s Public Advisor’s website at www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc and click on “Public Advisor” from the CPUC Information menu. You can also:

Email: public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov

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

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

If you are writing or emailing the Public Advisor’s Office, please include the proceeding number (R.12-06-013, Phase 2). All comments will be circulated to the commissioners, the assigned ALJ and the CPUC staff.
  • Call Before You Dig
  • PG&E's SmartMeter Program
  • California Solar Initiative
 
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