February 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.

Conserving gas this winter may have really paid off.

Thanks so much if you participated in Winter Gas Savings this past December and January. By making small changes, you may have conserved gas and earned a bonus credit. Check the “Gas Account Detail” section of your bill to see if you qualified for a credit.

This is the last year for Winter Gas Savings. Stay tuned for bigger and better energy- saving programs and initiatives from PG&E.

Although you cannot see or smell it, exposure to carbon monoxide (CO) can be dangerous. Stay safe:

  • Install a carbon monoxide detector and test it annually.
  • If you are concerned about the safety of an appliance, call PG&E to schedule a free safety check. 
  • Have a professional maintain your fuel-burning appliances.
  • Never use a barbeque, generator, car or other fuel-burning equipment in an unvented area.

The signs of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, nausea and headaches. CO poisoning can lead to unconsciousness and even death. If you experience these symptoms, leave the building and call 911.

We care about your safety.
For more safety tips
Or, call 1-800-743-5000

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 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 and dead or dying vegetation in an otherwise moist area. And always pay attention to hissing, whistling or roaring sounds coming from underground.

For 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 B23H
PO Box 770000
San Francisco, CA 94177

PG&E’s natural gas distribution pipelines connect to customer-owned piping near the gas meter. Customer-owned piping includes any above ground or buried pipe from where the meter “tee” connects to pipe leading into a building or house, to a fence or wall enclosing gas-fired equipment, to an appliance, or from the house to a swimming pool heater, spa or other building (please see below).


PG&E does not own, maintain or inspect the gas lines beyond the meter. Customers* are responsible for maintaining any customer-owned piping on their property from the meter to the house or business. Customer-owned piping should be periodically inspected for leaks and if it’s metallic, for corrosion.

A licensed plumber or qualified contractor can locate, inspect and repair buried piping on your property. If corrosion or a dangerous condition is discovered, piping should be immediately repaired.

Damage from excavation is the most common cause of pipeline accidents. Always be sure to call Underground Service Alert (USA) at 811 at least two working days before you dig—even in your own yard—to have underground lines located and marked.

USA is a free service that will notify underground utility operators in the areas of your planned work. PG&E will then locate and mark our underground gas and electric facilities. Customer-owned pipelines are typically not located by calling 811. Contact a plumber or licensed contractor to have customer-owned pipelines located before digging. Respect the marks and dig with care using hand-digging methods.

If you have questions about gas pipeline safety, please call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

*“Customer” refers to the owner of the gas piping system served by PG&E. This may be either the property owner or another party who owns the gas piping.

What is the Nuclear Decommissioning Cost Triennial Proceeding (NDCTP)?
The NDCTP provides the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), and other interested parties with an opportunity to review Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E’s) updated nuclear decommissioning cost studies and ratepayer contribution analyses every three years. This review determines the cost necessary to fully fund the nuclear decommissioning master trusts to safely decommission (remove from service) PG&E’s two nuclear power plants: Diablo Canyon Power Plant (Diablo Canyon) and Humboldt Bay Power Plant Unit 3 (Humboldt Unit 3). Diablo Canyon is currently an operating power plant. Humboldt Unit 3 is in the process of being decommissioned. These costs also include monitored safe storage, called SAFSTOR operations, of Humboldt Unit 3 until the final dismantling of the facility is complete.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE APPLICATION

On December 21, 2012, PG&E filed an application (12-12-012) with the CPUC, in which PG&E requested the authority to collect in rates, $82.517 million for the Diablo Canyon Units 1 and 2 Nuclear Decommissioning Trusts, $120.383 million for the Humboldt Unit 3 Nuclear Decommissioning Trust, and $9.997 million for Humboldt Unit 3 SAFSTOR operations and maintenance costs.

If approved, PG&E's request would raise electric rates effective January 1, 2014 for bundled service customers (customers who receive electric generation as well as transmission and distribution service from PG&E) and customers who purchase electricity from other suppliers (direct access and community choice aggregation). For a typical residential customer using 550 kWh per month the rate would increase from $89.35 to $90.03. The proposed revenue changes by customer class are noted in the illustrative chart below.

NDCTP Chart

For the departing load customer group (customers who self-generate or receive service from a publicly owned utility), the total non-bypassable rate component revenue increase would be $4.933 million or an average of 14.4% over current rates.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

To request a copy of the application and exhibits or for more details, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. For TDD/TTY (speech-hearing impaired), call 1-800-652-4712. Please specify that you are inquiring about A.12-12-012.

You may request a copy of the application and exhibits by writing to:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company
2012 NDCTP Application
P.O. Box 7442
San Francisco, CA 94120

THE CPUC PROCESS

The CPUC’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) will review this application.

The DRA is an independent arm of the CPUC, created by the Legislature to represent the interests of all utility customers throughout the state and obtain the lowest possible rate for service consistent with reliable and safe service levels. The DRA has a multi-disciplinary staff with expertise in economics, finance, accounting and engineering. The DRA’s views do not necessarily reflect those of the CPUC. Other parties of record may also participate.

The CPUC may hold evidentiary hearings where parties of record present their proposals in testimony and are subject to cross-examination before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). These hearings are open to the public, but only those who are parties of record may present evidence or cross-examine witnesses during evidentiary hearings. Members of the public may attend, but not participate in, these hearings.

After considering all proposals and evidence presented during the hearing process, the ALJ will issue a draft decision. When the CPUC acts on this application, it may adopt all or part of PG&E’s request, amend or modify it, or deny the application. The CPUC’s final decision may be different from PG&E’s application.

If you would like to learn how you can participate in this proceeding or if you have comments or questions, you may contact the CPUC’s Public Advisor as follows:

Public Advisor’s Office
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
1-415-703-2074 or 1-866-849-8390 (toll-free)
TTY 1-415-703-5282 or 1-866-836-7825 (toll-free)
Email to public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov

If you are writing a letter to the Public Advisor’s Office, please include the number of the application (12-12-012) to which you are referring. All comments will be circulated to the Commissioners, the assigned ALJ and the Energy Division staff.

A copy of PG&E’s 2012 NDCTP application and exhibits is also available for review at the California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102, Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-noon. A copy of the Application (without exhibits) is available on the CPUC’s website at www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc.

On February 28, 2013, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) requesting changes to our electric rates effective January 1, 2014. Specifically, we requested approval to recover in rates certain costs associated with (1) the California Independent System Operator’s (CAISO) Market Design Initiative, and (2) studies performed at Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant.

The CAISO Market Design Initiative was launched in 2009 by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to change how electricity is bought and sold in California. The costs requested in PG&E’s application represent actual costs associated with implementing the CAISO Market Design Initiative during 2012.

The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant studies were conducted in response to the California Energy Commission’s recommendations. The CPUC previously approved PG&E’s initial seismic study costs in Decisions 10-08-003 and 12-09-008. The costs requested in PG&E’s application represent additional seismic study costs incurred through December 31, 2012.

In total, PG&E’s application requests $25.421 million to be included in rates on January 1, 2014 from bundled service customers (those who receive electric generation, as well as transmission and distribution service from PG&E). 

Will rates increase as a result of this application?
Yes, approval of this application will increase electric rates by less than one percent—or 0.2 percent in 2014—for bundled service customers. For the typical bundled residential electric customer using 550 kWh per month, this will result in a bill increase of approximately 13 cents per month. Individual customers’ bills may vary. Rates for customers who purchase electricity from other suppliers (e.g., direct access and community choice aggregation) and rates for departing load customers will not be affected by these specific costs.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

To request a copy of the application and exhibits or for more details, call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. For TDD/TTY (speech-hearing impaired), call 1-800-652-4712. Please specify that you are inquiring about A.13-02-023.

You may request a copy of the application and exhibits by writing to Pacific Gas and Electric Company, 2012 ERRA Compliance Review/Diablo Costs Recovery Application, P.O. Box 7442, San Francisco, CA 94120.

THE CPUC PROCESS

The CPUC’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) will review this application.

The DRA is an independent arm of the CPUC, created by the Legislature to represent the interests of all utility customers throughout the state and obtain the lowest possible rate for service consistent with reliable and safe service levels. The DRA has a multi-disciplinary staff with expertise in economics, finance, accounting and engineering. The DRA’s views do not necessarily reflect those of the CPUC. Other parties of record will also participate.

EVIDENTIARY HEARINGS

The CPUC may hold evidentiary hearings where parties of record present their proposals in testimony and are subject to cross-examination before an Administrative Law Judge (ALJ). These hearings are open to the public, but only those who are parties of record may present evidence or cross-examine witnesses during evidentiary hearings. Members of the public may attend, but not participate in, these hearings.

After considering all proposals and evidence presented during the hearing process, the ALJ will issue a draft decision. When the CPUC acts on this application, it may adopt all or part of PG&E’s request, amend or modify it, or deny the application. The CPUC’s final decision may be different from PG&E’s application.

If you would like to learn how you can participate in this proceeding or if you have comments or questions, you may contact the CPUC’s Public Advisor as follows:

Public Advisor’s Office
505 Van Ness Avenue
Room 2103
San Francisco, CA 94102
1-415-703-2074 or 1-866-849-8390 (toll free)
TTY 1-415-703-5282 or 1-866-836-7825 (toll free)
E-mail to public.advisor@cpuc.ca.gov

If you are writing a letter to the Public Advisor’s Office, please include the name of the application (13-02-023) to which you are referring. All comments will be circulated to the Commissioners, the assigned Administrative Law Judge and the Energy Division staff.

A copy of the application (without exhibits) is also available for review at the California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Avenue, San Francisco, CA 94102, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–noon, and on the CPUC’s website at www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc.
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