Putting energy efficiency first
In 1976, PG&E became one of the first utilities in the nation to offer energy efficiency programs to our customers. And today, PG&E's commitment to saving energy is stronger than ever.
Using energy more efficiently is more than simply the right thing to do—it saves our customers money on their energy bills. It is also the fastest, most cost-effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and combat global climate change. In fact, since 1976, PG&E and our customers have kept more than 168 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere, based on cumulative lifecycle gross energy savings.
Partnering with our customers
PG&E offers a full package of energy efficiency products and services for our customers, including rebates and incentives, energy analyses, training and education, and more.
PG&E is working collaboratively to help residential consumers purchase more energy-efficient TVs. The products are marked with PG&E and ENERGY STAR® stickers to help customers easily indentify them.
Energy Upgrade California® Home Upgrade is a statewide program that offers incentives to homeowners who complete comprehensive energy-saving home improvements on a single-family residence. These incentive packages encourage customers to take a “whole house” approach by combining several related improvements at once to increase a home’s overall energy efficiency and achieve greater savings.
Our Pacific Energy Center in San Francisco and Energy Training Center in Stockton promote new technologies and educate our customers on the latest energy efficiency options. Our Food Service Technology Center in San Ramon provides nationally recognized energy efficiency consulting services to the commercial food service industry.
Creating new energy-saving solutions
With the press of a Green Button, PG&E customers have another tool to help save energy and money. The button allows customers to download their hourly energy usage information in an easy-to-use format. The standardized data format also encourages third-party developers to create innovative apps that maximize the full potential of this energy information.
With Home Energy Reports, we offer information and tips to help residential customers make their homes more energy-efficient. Customers can review how their energy use changes over time and across seasons. They can also learn how their home's energy use compares to approximately 100 occupied, nearby homes that are similar in size and have the same type of energy service.
For large business customers, we are using an energy management analytics and planning tool that will enable us to work strategically with customers to recommend the best mix of our products and services to meet their needs.
An increasing number of cities have worked with PG&E on a smart and practical approach to energy efficiency—converting their street lights to light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Compared with traditional street lights, LEDs use about 50 percent less electricity and last up to five times longer.
Bringing new technologies to you
The SmartMeter™ system’s wireless communications capability enables PG&E to provide more reliable service. Customers also receive access to more frequent information about their energy use, which in turn enables them to better manage their energy consumption and costs.
SmartMeter™ technology is the indispensable cornerstone of the Smart Grid—which will ultimately empower customers and utilities to manage energy use more intelligently and efficiently. It will help customers increase their control over their energy costs, and it will allow for even greater integration of electric vehicles and renewable energy into the electric grid.
PG&E has installed more than 9 million SmartMeter™ gas and electric meters—more advanced meters than any other utility in the nation.
Finding local solutions
From Humboldt to Santa Barbara, cities and counties across our service area are taking action against climate change. PG&E is actively supporting a growing number of these local governments—helping them achieve their greenhouse gas reduction goals through free training, resources, competitive funding and a dedicated team of PG&E community energy managers.
PG&E is working to provide comprehensive, actionable and economically viable solutions that help local governments address their impact on global climate change—from providing data and assistance with greenhouse gas inventories to on-the-ground training and guidance on climate action plans to tailored strategies for implementing innovative energy efficiency programs.
In addition to energy efficiency, PG&E also manages a variety of demand response programs to help cut peak energy use. Focusing on ways to reduce peak energy use is vital to our environmental and resource planning objectives. These programs provide incentives for customers to temporarily reduce or shift their energy use on days when demand for energy is at its highest.
Our demand response programs range from SmartAC™, to fully automated programs that reduce energy use through an electronic signal, to emergency programs where large industrial customers voluntarily reduce their electricity demand in less than an hour upon request.
California businesses are moving to a new electric rate structure called Time-Varying Pricing, as part of a statewide energy plan being implemented at the direction of the California Public Utilities Commission. Time Varying Pricing plans are designed to help better align the price for energy with the cost of energy at the time it is produced. With Time Varying Pricing, when a customer uses energy is as important as how much energy is used.
PG&E's SmartAC™ program provides a simple and voluntary way for households to participate in demand response. During extremely hot summer days, PG&E can dispatch a radio signal to SmartAC devices installed in a customer's home, slightly reducing the amount of electricity that the customer's air conditioner uses without disturbing customer comfort.