PG&E Service Area Emissions Map

PG&E is providing customers a centralized, searchable map that shares gas-related emissions data collected over the last three years. The data is collected through the company's extensive surveying of its complete gas pipeline system. The data is tracked and measured against the goal to achieve a service-area-wide decline in year-over-year emissions from pipelines.



What are emissions

Emissions is the term used to describe the release of gas to atmosphere. Methane emissions quantities from PG&E's pipeline system are not harmful to human health but they can have impact on the environment, including global warming. That is why PG&E has taken an aggressive approach to reducing emissions on its system.



Using state of the art technology

  • The development and use of state-of-the-art methane-detecting technologies are key to PG&E's efforts to reduce overall gas emissions. This also advances the company's commitment to help combat climate change and to help the state achieve and surpass its clean energy goals.
  • PG&E has one of the nation's leading Research and Development teams working to develop, test, and pilot new emissions detection technologies. PG&E was one of the very first companies to collaborate with Picarro Inc. to adapt some of the most highly sensitive methane detection technologies onto a mobile vehicle platform.
  • PG&E maintains a fleet of 10 vehicles equipped with the Picarro mobile survey technology. PG&E also conducts inspections on foot by personnel who also walk along the pipeline system to survey for any signs of emissions.
  • PG&E works in collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) to adapt advanced technologies originally created to identify methane on the planet Mars onto different devices, including an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV).
  • A new approach taken by PG&E in the last two years is the Super-emitter accelerated survey process. With this, PG&E surveys its system more often and focuses on finding and fixing the largest emissions first… A process introduced to and supported by the California Public Utilities Commission.


Inspecting pipelines

  • Natural Gas pipeline inspections are conducted on the larger gas transmission pipes twice a year and annually for the smaller diameter distribution pipelines within the main business areas of communities. All additional non-business areas are inspected every three years on an ongoing basis. Gas-related emissions surveys are conducted to ensure the safe, reliable and affordable delivery of clean natural gas.


Find and fix

When gas emissions or leaks are found on the pipeline system, they are prioritized and graded following the national grading standard established by the American Gas Association. Factors including location, emissions, and size are considered as part of this process.


Emissions that pose a threat to safety are prioritized and immediately repaired. All subsequent leaks are prioritized and placed on a repair schedule. In addition to our annualized surveys, we also respond within 20 minutes to all calls from customers regarding suspected leaks.


The emissions data collected by PG&E is organized on the map by zip code and provides a three-year history of PG&E's service area. The ranking of cumulative emissions are color coded. Each spring as the annual data is analyzed, the map will be updated.



A modern gas system

Since 2010 PG&E has made significant enhancements and upgrades to its extensive 50,000+ mile natural gas pipeline system, including:

  • Installing a combined 6,780 SCADA visibility and control points on distribution and transmission lines, which monitor pressure and flow of gas 24-hours a day and feed that data back to the Gas Control Center;
  • Reducing the number of open leaks on its system;
  • Replacing 863 miles of distribution pipeline;
  • Replacing 269 miles of transmission pipeline;
  • Pressure testing 1,495 miles of transmission pipeline;
  • And, modernizing 1,316 miles of gas transmission line to accommodate inspection tools.


Working with state and federal agencies

PG&E reports its greenhouse gas emissions to the California Air Resources Board and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). On a voluntary basis, PG&E reports a more comprehensive emissions inventory to The Climate Registry, a nonprofit organization. Each year, PG&E also reports its greenhouse gas emissions and climate change strategies to the CDP (PDF), an international not-for-profit organization that requests information on behalf of institutional investors.


More on PG&E's Commitment to Combat Climate Change

In 2016, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launched a Methane Challenge. PG&E was one of the 41 founding partners (PDF)

To learn more about Gas Safety, visit pge.com/gassafety.

How to use the map

From the bar above the map:

  1. Use the arrows to select a year.
  2. Enter a ZIP Code or use the arrow to choose one from the drop-down list.
  3. For an alternative view of the emissions, select the layer box at the top right corner of the map, and select "Methane Emissions Hatch."

Bar charts will display emissions data and percentage of mains surveyed. Hover over each bar to display the chart's numerical value.


NOTE: Mcf/yr = 1,000 cubic feet per year (standard unit of measure for natural gas).

NOTE: Internet Explorer is not supported for this application.


For any usability issues related to map navigation, please contact PG&E's Customer Call Center at 1-800-743-5000.

Gas pipeline emissions inspections