November 2012 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.
- 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.
- 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 you or a full-time resident in your home is:
- Dependent on life-support equipment while at home
- A paraplegic, hemiplegic, quadriplegic or sclerosis patient with special heating and/or cooling needs
- A scleroderma patient with special heating needs
- A person being treated for 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.
- PG&E’s Notice of Accessing, Collecting, Storing, Using, and Disclosing Energy Usage InformationYour privacy is a top priority for PG&E. For more information about how we protect the privacy of your account information, visit www.pge.com/privacy.
PG&E Residential and Business Customer ServiceCorrespondence Management Center
PO Box 997310
Sacramento, CA 95899-7310
- 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 (PG&E) 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 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 (EPRI), 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, 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. 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
Contact PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 for a free information package or home or business measurements.
Additional information is also available at these links:
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
*The term EMF in this publication refers to extremely low frequency (ELF) 60-hertz electric and magnetic fields associated with power delivered by electric utilities. It does not refer to radio frequency (RF) waves associated with wireless communications such as cell phones.
Reviewed by: California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)
- Notification of Public Participation HearingThe California Public Utilities Commission is Holding Several Meetings throughout PG&E’s Service Area to Accept Public Comment on PG&E’s Application of Proposed Modifications to its Smartmeter™ Program for Residential Customers (A.11-03-014)
The California Public Utilities Commission would like to hear from you.
Anyone wishing to present their views to the Commission may attend one of the hearings scheduled below:
December 13, 2012, 6 p.m.
Bakersfield City Hall
1501 Truxtun Avenue
Bakersfield, CA 93301
December 14, 2012, 3 p.m.
County Administration Building
Board Hearing Room, 4th Floor
105 East Anapamu Street
Santa Barbara, CA 93101
December 17, 2012, 6 p.m.
Junipero Serra State Office Building
Carmel Room: Auditorium, 1st Floor
320 West 4th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
December 18, 2012, 6 p.m.
San Clemente Community Center
Ole Hanson Fireside Room
100 N. Calle Seville
San Clemente, CA 92672
December 20, 2012, 2 p.m.
Steel Lane Community Center
415 Steele Lane
Santa Rosa, CA 95403
What are the proposed modifications to the SmartMeter™ Program?
On March 24, 2011, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) filed proposed modifications to the SmartMeter™ Program in response to California Public Utilities Commissioner Michael Peevey’s request that PG&E provide a proposal that addresses certain customers’ concerns about SmartMeter™ radio frequency (RF) communications.
On February 1, 2012, the Commission issued Decision (D.) 12-02-014, which modified Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) SmartMeter™ Program to include an option for those residential customers who did not wish to have a wireless SmartMeter™. The Opt-Out Decision adopted interim fees for those customers electing to participate in the opt-out option and directed that a separate phase be initiated to consider cost and cost allocation issues associated with opt-out options. The decision also directed that the second phase consider whether the opt-out option should be extended to communities, such as local governments and residents of apartment buildings or condominium complexes.
The Opt-Out Decision identified two main issues for the second phase: (1) cost and cost allocation, and (2) whether to adopt a community opt-out option.
Will rates increase generally as a result of this application?
Yes, possibly. In the Commission’s Opt-Out Decision, the Commission adopted interim fees to be paid by customers electing not to have a wireless SmartMeter™. The Commission will consider revisions to those interim fees in the second phase of the proceeding. If the fees set for customers electing not to have a wireless SmartMeter™ do not fully recover the costs of the Opt-Out Program, then rates for PG&E’s other customers could increase.
Staff from the California Public Utilities Commission’s (CPUC’s) Public Advisor’s Office will be present at these hearings to assist you. The locations listed on the front of this notice are wheelchair accessible. If you need special accommodations, e.g., sign language interpreters, please contact the Commission’s Public Advisor’s Office at 1-415-703-2074, toll-free at
1-866-849-8390 at least three business days prior to the meeting.
If you are unable to attend this important hearing and would like additional information on how to participate at this public hearing or if you would like to submit written comments about
A.11-03-014, please contact:
Public Advisor’s Office
505 Van Ness Avenue, Room 2103
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
A copy of A.11-03-014 and exhibits is available for review at the CPUC, 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