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PG&E Seeks Aproval for Cornerstone Improvement Program and Expanded Support for Low Income Customers Proposed Program Would Help Decrease the Number of and Duration of Electric Outages by Increasing Flexibility of the Electrical Grid

Release Date: May 15, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

Pacific Gas and Electric Company today asked the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to approve a six-year initiative – the Cornerstone Improvement Program - to significantly improve the reliability of PG&E’s electric distribution system. At the same time, the utility requested enhancements to its Low Income Energy Efficiency program.

“Reliable electric service is at the heart of the Cornerstone Improvement Program,” said Edward Salas, senior vice president of engineering and operations for PG&E. “By strengthening our energy foundation, we are preparing to meet our customers’ future needs.”

The Cornerstone Improvement Program comprises a set of initiatives proposed by PG&E to decrease both the number and duration of electric outages by increasing the flexibility of the electrical grid. Major initiatives include increasing the capacity and interconnectivity of distribution lines and substations, implementing distribution automation on 1,200 circuits in urban and suburban areas, and installing 5,000 switching devices on rural circuits to reduce the number of customers affected by outages.

The increase in monthly bills for a typical customer using the baseline electric allowance would range from $0.01 (1 cent) in 2009 to $1.02 in 2014 as a result of this filing.

PG&E also applied today for CPUC approval of the 2009 – 2011 Low Income Energy Efficiency (LIEE) and California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) programs and budget. This filing is specifically designed to increase the availability of energy efficiency programs to more customers. The LIEE Program provides low income customers with the means to reduce their energy consumption, cut their energy bills and improve their quality of life.

PG&E proposes to make LIEE programs available to 25 percent of its low income customers, which represents an increase from about 60,000 to 100,000 homes per year in line with PG&E’s commitment to provide all eligible customers the opportunity to participate in the LIEE program by 2020.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in northern and central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/.

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