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PG&E Customers can "Compete to Conserve" with New Facebook App

Release Date: April 3, 2012
Contact: PG&E External Communications (415) 973-5930

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) customers can now share and compare their energy use with friends around the nation on Facebook with a new social energy application. The app, created by Opower in partnership with Facebook and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), provides insight into individual energy use while fostering friendly competition.

To get started, PG&E customers can visit social.opower.com or search for the "Opower" app on Facebook and connect their utility account.

Customers who sign up will see how their home energy use compares to others with similar homes. As friends are invited and join in, people will then be able to engage in savings competitions. PG&E customers with a SmartMeter™ and My Energy account can get a leg up on their competition by logging onto pge.com/myenergy to view hourly electric data, gaining insight to further conserve energy.

"Many of our customers use social media to help them manage their daily lives, whether arranging a get-together or playing a social networked game," said Steve Malnight, Vice President of Customer Energy Solutions with PG&E. "With this new app we are excited to offer customers a fun and engaging place to talk about how they use energy and show their friends how saving energy can mean saving money."

Over time, the app will grow new capabilities, but already it enables customers to:

  • Compare energy use to similar homes: People can benchmark their home energy use against a national database of millions of homes. All benchmarking will be done on an aggregate level, ensuring customer data privacy.
  • Compare energy use among friends: Friends can compare their energy use, show how energy efficient they are, and share tips on how to improve.
  • Publish conversations about energy: Participants can share information about energy use, rank, group participation, and conservation tips through the Facebook newsfeed.
  • Engage in group cooperation: Communities of Facebook friends can form teams to help achieve collective goals.
  • Automatically import energy data: PG&E customers can choose to import their energy data into the application automatically. Customers from utilities that are not participating can input their energy usage into the app manually.

"Improvements in energy efficiency have the potential to deliver more than $700 billion in cost savings in the United States alone," said Brandi Colander, with NRDC’s Energy and Transportation Group. "Motivating consumers to take action—a longstanding challenge—is the key to unlocking this potential."

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), 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 http://www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ and www.pgecurrents.com.

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