September 2011 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.
- Plant the right tree in the right placeYour safety is PG&E's top priority. Stay safe, keep the lights on and improve your landscape's appearance by planting trees with the proper height at maturity for their location. Planting trees under power lines can pose electrical shock hazards and fire safety risks.
To request A Guide to Planting Small Trees near Distribution Lines or A Selection & Planning Guide to Power-Wise Tree Planting for California, contact us at RightTreeRightPlace@pge.com or call 1-800-743-5000. Please include your mailing address and specify if you live in the Bay Area, Northern or Central California.
Tree planting guides
When selecting shrubs and trees, be sure to consider overhead power lines and underground utilities in addition to fire hazard, sun exposure and soil conditions.
For more information about trees and power lines, visit www.pge.com/RightTreeRightPlace or call 1-800-743-5000.
- Medical Baseline program: you may save money on your billGet additional quantities of energy at the lowest (baseline) price for qualified PG&E residential customers. To qualify for Medical Baseline, a California-licensed physician must certify that a full-time resident in your home has one of these medical conditions:
- Dependent on life-support equipment while at home
- A paraplegic, hemiplegic, quadriplegic or multiple sclerosis patient with special heating and/or cooling needs
- A scleroderma patient with special heating needs
- A life-threatening illness or compromised immune system with special heating and/or cooling requirements to sustain the patient’s life or prevent deterioration of the patient’s medical condition.
Visit www.pge.com/medicalbaseline or call 1-800-743-5000 for details or to apply.
- Third Party Notification: help for those who may overlook their energy billOur Third Party Notification service allows you to name a friend or relative to receive duplicate copies of past due payment notices. The designated person is not responsible for paying the bill, but can contact Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) to help resolve the issue. Visit www.pge.com/thirdpartynotification or call 1-800-743-5000 for more information.
- Natural gas customers: Please read this important gas safety informationAs a natural gas pipeline operator, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is responsible for maintaining its natural gas lines up to the gas service delivery point, or the point where our piping connects to a customer's gas pipes. Typically, this is near the gas meter, where the meter "tee" connects to pipes leading into a building (or if there is no building, to the fence or wall enclosing gas-fired equipment).
PG&E does not maintain any natural gas lines beyond the gas service delivery point. Gas pipelines beyond this point are normally owned by the customer*, so inspecting and keeping up this piping is your responsibility. Examples of this piping include any buried pipe from the gas service delivery point to your house or appliances or from your house to a swimming pool heater, spa or other buildings. Please refer to the diagram below for more detail.
Damage from excavation is a common cause of pipeline accidents. That's why you must always call 811 at least two working days before you dig-even in your own yard. Underground Service Alert (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.
Natural gas piping should be inspected periodically for leaks and, if it's metallic, for corrosion. If you find evidence of corrosion to metallic piping, you should contact a licensed contractor to correct the problem.
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 nearby to stay away from the area.
- If gas is burning, do not attempt to stop the flowing gas or extinguish the fire.
- 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 and garage door openers.
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.
- Notification of Filing of Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Gas Transmission Pipeline Safety Enhancement PlanWhat is the Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan Filing?
On June 9, 2011, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) issued its Decision Determining Maximum Allowable Operating Pressure Methodology and Requiring Filing of Natural Gas Transmission Pipeline Replacement or Testing Implementation Plans (D.11-06-017). D.11-06-017 requires all California natural gas transmission operators to develop and file an Implementation Plan setting forth criteria for segments of natural gas pipelines that have not been strength tested, lack sufficient details related to the performance of any such test or are identified for strength testing or replacement. D.11-06-017 also states that the Implementation Plan must include interim safety enhancement measures that will enhance public safety during the implementation period and that the Implementation Plan must consider retrofitting pipelines to allow for in-line inspection tools and, where appropriate, automated shut-off valves.
Detailed information about this filing:
On August 26, 2011, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) filed its proposed, two-phase, Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan (or Implementation Plan) with the CPUC in compliance with D.11-06-017, requesting changes to its Gas Transmission and Storage (GT&S) rates effective January 1, 2012. Phase 1 of the plan—to run from 2011-2014—targets pipeline segments that are in highly populated urban areas, have vintage seam welds that do not meet modern standards, or are "grandfathered" under current regulations and have not been strength tested. Phase 2 of the plan—to begin in 2015—focuses on pipeline segments that have been previously strength tested or are in rural areas.
In this filing, PG&E seeks approval of the work scope proposed for both phases of the Implementation Plan, and proposes a three-year adjustment to rates for 2012 through 2014 for work completed in Phase 1. Cost recovery for Phase 2 will be addressed in a subsequent filing with the Commission. PG&E also presents how the costs to operate its transmission and storage business will be assigned to each customer class.
The Implementation Plan focuses on the following key areas:
Pipeline Modernization Program
During Phase 1, PG&E proposes to strength test 783 miles, replace 186 miles, upgrade 199 miles of pipe to allow for in-line inspection and in-line inspect 234 miles.
Valve Automation Program
During Phase 1, PG&E proposes to automate 228 valves, which includes remote-controlled valves in urban areas and automatic shut-off valves in populated areas that cross earthquake faults. In addition, PG&E will enhance its Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) system to provide operators additional information, tools and training to allow for early detection and quick response to pipeline rupture events. PG&E will also conduct a study to evaluate potential SCADA expansion and improvement.
Pipeline Records Integration Program
This program consists of two work efforts: (1) collecting and verifying all pipeline strength tests and pipeline features data necessary to calculate the maximum allowable operating pressure (MAOP) of all gas transmission pipelines and associated components; and (2) transitioning away from relying on traditional paper records by consolidating data into integrated, core data management systems and building materials traceability for gas transmission pipeline components from receipt, through installation, to retirement from service.
Interim Safety Enhancement Measures
PG&E's Implementation Plan includes the following interim safety enhancement measures: (1) validate the MAOP for all gas transmission pipelines in the system; (2) interim pressure reductions; and (3) increased leak surveys and patrols.
This filing does not address distribution (gas lines handling reduced pressure) rates or the commodity costs of gas. Rates for PG&E's gas distribution services, and the rates PG&E charges for natural gas itself, are set in separate CPUC proceedings.
Will rates increase as a result of this filing?
Yes, if approved by the CPUC, gas rates and bills will increase, effective
January 1, 2012. The average rates for bundled residential gas customers (customers who receive gas distribution and natural gas procurement services from PG&E) will increase by 4.26 percent, and average bundled small and large commercial gas rates will increase by 5.35 percent and 6.80 percent, respectively.
For 2012, PG&E is seeking to collect a total of $247.3 million. PG&E also requests Implementation Plan revenue requirements for 2013 and 2014 of $220.8 million and $300.6 million, respectively. This money will be used to implement the work scope indicated in the Implementation Plan related to pipeline modernization, all in a safe and reliable manner: valve automation, pipeline records integration and interim safety enhancement measures.
The requested $247.3 million increase in gas revenue for 2012 would be collected from customers as described in the table below:
If the CPUC approves PG&E's request, a typical residential customer using 37 therms per month would see an average monthly gas bill increase of $1.93, from $45.23 to $47.16. A typical small business customer using 287 therms per month would see an average monthly gas bill increase of $14.95, from $279.80 to $294.75. Individual customers' bills may differ.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
To request a copy of the filing 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 filing and exhibits by writing to:
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Gas Transmission Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan
P.O. Box 7442, San Francisco, CA 94120
THE CPUC PROCESS
The CPUC's Division of Ratepayer Advocates (DRA) will review this filing.
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 filing, it may adopt all or part of PG&E's request, amend or modify it, or deny the filing.
The CPUC's final decision may be different from PG&E's filing. 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 TTY 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 filing (R.11-02-019) 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 Gas Transmission Pipeline Safety Enhancement Plan 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, and on the CPUC's website at www.cpuc.ca.gov/puc.