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PG&E and California Academy of Sciences Team Up on Climate Change Education Campaign Pacific Gas and Electric Company awards $1.5 Million to the California Academy of Sciences

Release Date: June 2, 2008
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

Pacific Gas and Electric Company announced it has awarded the first of four annual installments totaling $1.5 million to the California Academy of Sciences. The grant will position PG&E as both the presenting sponsor of the fall 2008 opening events at the new Academy in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, and the lead sponsor of climate change and sustainability exhibits and programs. This recent grant is the largest made by PG&E to a single San Francisco institution. The Academy is poised to become the "greenest" museum of its kind in the world.

The four-year collaboration involving climate change and sustainability will help educate Californians about how they can take action on climate change. “Empowering Californians with the tools and information to reduce their impact on climate change is critical to protecting California’s natural heritage,” said Bill Morrow, president and CEO of PG&E. “We’re honored by the opportunity to support the California Academy of Sciences as they take on the important mission of inspiring future leaders to create a more sustainable California.”

The far-reaching program focuses on climate change education and community involvement. As the lead corporate sponsor of the Academy, PG&E will provide energy-related content for the “Science in Action” exhibit and incorporate PG&E subject experts into ongoing Academy programming. In addition, PG&E employees will have an opportunity to participate in year-round volunteer activities and special events. PG&E is also the lead sponsor of the Academy’s unique environmental-sustainability exhibit, Altered State: Climate Change in California.

“The need for science and climate change education is one of the most critical issues of our time,” said Greg Farrington, executive director at the California Academy of Sciences. “PG&E, which continues to demonstrate environmental leadership within California and nationwide, is an ideal partner for the new Academy as we seek to serve as a leading resource for science education in the 21st century.”

The Academy will address the timely issue of environmental sustainability through exhibits about climate change, biodiversity, and green building strategies. In particular, the Altered State: Climate Change in California exhibit will introduce the most recent advances in the science of climate change, explore the possible consequences in California and around the world, and encourage discussion about the steps that can be taken to mitigate these dramatic changes. Highlights of the exhibit will include an interactive projection display that demonstrates the effects of global climate change on Arctic sea ice and a variety of treasures from the Academy’s collection of scientific specimens from California. A feedback station will allow visitors to share their ideas for reducing our footprint on the planet.

Opening September 27, 2008, the new California Academy of Sciences building is topped with a 2.5-acre living roof and will employ a wide range of energy-saving materials and technologies. PG&E will award a rebate to the Academy for its solar array, which will supply 213,000 kWh of renewable energy per year. The rebate is part of the utility’s Self Generation Incentive Program, which provides rebates to business customers to help offset the costs associated with solar, wind, fuel cell, micro turbine and internal combustion systems.

The new Academy will house Steinhart Aquarium, Morrison Planetarium and the Kimball Natural History Museum. Designed by Pritzker Prize winner Renzo Piano, the new building stands as an embodiment of the Academy’s mission to explore, explain and protect the natural world. With interpretive signage about its green features and a roof-top observation deck, the building will also serve as an exhibit in and of itself.

PG&E has a long history of making charitable grants tailored to the wide variety of needs of the communities it serves. The company’s broader program of support to communities includes cash grants, in-kind contributions, and volunteers for community-based nonprofit organizations, and for schools and other governmental programs throughout northern and central California. All charitable contributions are entirely funded by PG&E Corporation shareholders and the level of charitable giving does not affect gas and electric rates.

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.

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