November 2010 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.
- Simple safety measures to ensure reliable gas servicePG&E is committed to the safe operation of our pipelines. As a part of our commitment, we regularly patrol and monitor our pipelines and also conduct internal and external pipeline inspections. Visit www.pge.com/pipelineplanning or call
1-888-743-7431 for important safety information.
Call 811 before you dig
The greatest cause of pipeline accidents is damage from excavation. If you plan on digging or trenching, please call Underground Service Alert (USA) by dialing 811 at least two working days before you begin. This free service will notify underground utilities in the area of your planned work. PG&E will locate and mark our underground gas and electric facilities.
Signs of a gas leak: Don't rely solely on your nose
The most obvious warning sign of a gas leak is usually a rotten-egg smell. However, sometimes there may be no odor at all. Other signs could include dirt spraying in the air, a hissing sound, continual bubbling in a pond or creek or plants that seem to be dying for no reason.
If you suspect a gas leak:
- Leave the area immediately and move to a safe location. Then, dial 911 and call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.
- Warn others to stay away.
- If gas is burning, do not attempt to extinguish the fire or stop the flowing gas.
- Only PG&E employees should operate pipeline valves.
- Unless you are a safe distance away from the suspected leak, do not light a match, start an engine, use metal tools, or operate any device with the potential to create a spark that might ignite the gas, including electric switches, door bells, radios, televisions, lights, appliances, and garage door openers.
Transmission pipeline markers
Gas transmission pipelines transport high volumes of natural gas and are identified by transmission pipeline markers. These markers specify the approximate location of pipelines, but not all pipelines follow a straight path between two markers and markers do not detail the depth of the pipeline. Extra care should be taken around these signs.
Pipeline operator contact information is located on the marker. Visit www.pge.com/pipelineplanning or call 1-888-743-7431 for PG&E pipeline maps and information. For maps of all types of pipelines, visit www.npms.phmsa.dot.gov.
- Our 2011 schedule shows when your meter will be readPlease use this schedule as a guide for the monthly dates PG&E will visit your home or business to read your meter.
2011 Meter Reading Schedule
We make every effort to read your meter each month on the scheduled date. However, sometimes, we may need to read your meter on a slightly different date. Please allow access to your meter and secure your pet one day before and one day after your scheduled meter read date. Follow the steps below to find the date we will read your meter each month.
- In the Account Detail section of your statement, locate your Serial Letter.
- In the table below, locate your Serial Letter in the Serial column.
- To the right of your Serial Letter, locate the date we will read your meter(s) each month (August 25 in the table below).
We are currently in the process of upgrading our meters with SmartMeter™ technology. Until your meter can be read remotely, a PG&E meter reader will continue to read your meter. Visit www.pge.com/smartmeter to learn when SmartMeter™ technology will be installed in your area.
Alternative Meter Reading Methods
If access to your meter(s) is not available because of locked gates, a hazardous condition or family pets, the following alternative meter reading methods may be considered.
Customer's Key: Our meter reading department will maintain the security of your personal key. Your key will only be used by authorized PG&E personnel to gain access to your meter.
Lock Box: If you have multiple meters at one location, we can install a lock box, free of charge, to hold the key that provides access to your meters. Only authorized personnel will have access to your key.
Self-Read: You must apply and be approved to use this method. This method is not available for customers with time-of-use meters.
For more information about our alternative meter reading methods or to enroll, please visit www.pge.com/meterreading or call 1-800-743-5000.
Dog Owners: Safety First!
Please remember to secure your pet one day before and one day after your scheduled meter read date.
- In the Account Detail section of your statement, locate your Serial Letter.
- Understanding EMF Electric and Magnetic FieldsQuestions 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 brochure contains information that will help you understand the EMF issue, plus practical tips you can use if you want to reduce your exposure at home and at work.
Campos Eléctricos y Magnéticos (EMF): 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 and 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 find out if EMF poses any health risk. Given the uncertainty of the issue, the medical and scientific communities have been unable to determine 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) recently concluded 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 policies based on the adoption of arbitrary low exposure limits are not warranted. In light of this situation, the 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 use existing international guidelines (833 and 9,000 milligauss) to establish standards for exposure to short-term, high-level ELF fields. These guidelines pertain to field levels that are virtually never encountered by the general public except from a few electric appliances.
- 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 PG&E is a member.
To view the full report and a fact sheet summarizing it, visit:
What you can do
In a situation of scientific uncertainty and public concern, the 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 already pursue 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. But, if you feel reducing your EMF exposure would be beneficial, you can increase your distance from electric appliances and/or 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 Pacific Gas and Electric Company for a free information package or home or business measurements at 1-800-743-5000.
World Health Organization International EMF Project: www.who.int/peh-emf/en/
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences: www.niehs.nih.gov/health/topics/agents/emf/
California Department of Health Services: www.ehib.org/emf/
California Public Utilities Commission: www.cpuc.ca.gov/PUC/energy/Environment/ElectroMagnetic+Fields/action.htm
Reviewed by: California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
- Notification of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s Application for Share of Costs of California Solar Photovoltaic Manufacturing Developing Facility Under U.S. Department of Energy Photovoltaic Manufacturing Initiative (A.10-11-002)
On November 1, 2010, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) filed the above referenced application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). In this application, PG&E asks for authorization from the CPUC to recover costs from contributing matching funds to support the establishment of a first-of-its kind photovoltaic (PV) manufacturing development facility developed by SVTC Solar (SVTC). SVTC has submitted an application for a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) grant to develop this facility in San Jose, CA, and matching funds are required by the DOE to support SVTC’s application. The facility would support new forms of PV technology, which is a method of generating electrical power using solar panels.
What is the SVTC PV Manufacturing Development Facility?
The proposed San Jose, CA facility would help emerging PV companies progress from the research and development stage to the production stage faster and more cost effectively. The facility offers PV companies access to space and to advanced, up-to-date equipment. Firms would pay a service fee to test and improve their PV technology currently in development. The facility would also house manufacturing experts who would be available to advise resident PV companies and to provide a hands-on educational experience for students interested in pursuing careers in the solar industry.
PG&E’s application asks for CPUC approval to recover PG&E’s share of the matching funds, which would support establishment of the manufacturing development facility. If the project is approved by the CPUC and funding is approved by the DOE, PG&E's share of the electric costs incurred on this project would be recorded to the Distribution Revenue Adjustment Mechanism (DRAM) for cost recovery.
Will rates increase as a result of this application?
Approval of this application would result in an increase in rates. Assuming the DOE approves the grant request from SVTC and the CPUC approves this application, PG&E would increase its electric revenues to cover the amount of pre-tax matching contribution by approximately $35.6 million over a three-year period beginning January 1, 2012. Using the 2012 (highest single year) revenue requirement of approximately $18 million, the bundled system average rate would increase 0.14% in 2012, relative to current rates, and would not have a significant impact on individual customers’ rates. PG&E intends to seek to structure its agreement with SVTC so that PG&E’s share of the matching funds could be reimbursed at a later time, depending on whether the facility is successful.
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.
You may request a copy of the application and exhibits by writing to:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
P.O. Box 7442, San Francisco, CA 94120
The CPUC Process
The CPUC’s Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) may 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.
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)
E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you are writing a letter to the Public Advisor’s Office, please include the number of the application (10-11-002) 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 PG&E’s SVTC Solar application and exhibits are also available for review at the California Public Utilities Commission, 505 Van Ness Avenue,
San Francisco, CA 94102, Monday–Friday, 8 a.m.–noon.