PG&E Corporate Responsibility and Sustainability Report 2018

PG&E Chapter 11 Update

Energy Affordability

At PG&E, we’re committed to providing affordable energy to all of our customers. One important tool is our wide range of energy efficiency programs, which help customers reduce their energy use and save money. We also offer several financial assistance programs to help customers who are facing financial challenges, who live in disadvantaged communities or who face issues of environmental and social justice.

Our Approach

Energy efficiency programs play an essential role in energy affordability. Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s website includes an extensive set of energy-saving tips and lists of appliances and equipment that are eligible for rebates. It also provides tools, like Home Energy Checkup and Home Energy Reports, that help customers analyze their usage and pinpoint ways to save.

PG&E is also transitioning toward a new program model that will result in an updated portfolio of energy efficiency programs by 2020 that are proposed, designed and delivered by third parties. The goal of the initiative is to scale energy efficiency cost-effectively and make energy efficiency offerings easier to access for customers.

In addition, PG&E works closely with customers facing financial challenges so they can continue to receive gas and electric service. PG&E supports programs designed for those in need, including:

  • The California Alternate Rates for Energy Program (CARE), which offers a monthly discount on energy bills for income-qualified households and housing facilities. Qualified households can save 20 percent or more on their energy bills.
  • Budget Billing, which spreads costs out evenly over the year and eliminates swings in customers’ monthly energy bills caused by seasonal changes in usage.
  • The Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) plan, which pays up to $300 of the energy bill for income-qualified customers experiencing a crisis that prevents them from paying their gas or electric bill. This assistance program, funded in part with charitable dollars from PG&E Corporation shareholders, is administered by Dollar Energy Fund.
  • The Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program, which provides a monthly discount on electric bills for income-qualified households of three or more people.

In addition, discounts are available for customers that have special energy needs due to certain qualifying medical conditions.

PG&E also offers an Economic Development Rate to businesses with higher energy loads who are considering locating in California, relocating from California to other states or closing their existing California operations.

2018 Milestones

In 2018, we continued to aid customers in need through our financial assistance programs:

  • CARE: About 1.4 million customers, or 90 percent of those who were eligible, received discounts through the CARE program in 2018. Since the program’s inception in 1989, PG&E CARE customers have saved $9.4 billion on their energy bills.
  • Budget Billing: Approximately 214,000 customers participated in the Budget Billing program in 2018. This program helps customers with high seasonal bills even out their energy payment so that they are more manageable.
  • FERA: Approximately 24,000 customers, or 14 percent of those who were eligible, received discounts through the FERA program in 2018. Since the program’s inception in 2004, PG&E FERA customers have saved over $65 million on their energy bills.
  • REACH: More than $1.1 million in emergency assistance funds were distributed to 4,176 customers in 2018. The REACH program was established in 1983, and since 2014, the program has provided over $5 million to more than 18,000 customers.

We also continue to contribute to local economic and community vitality through our economic development rate. More than 60 companies have signed up for the rate since 2014, creating more than 6,600 local jobs and enhancing economic vitality in communities across PG&E’s service area.

Measuring Progress

PG&E’s Energy Savings Assistance Program helps income-qualified customers who are also CARE customers reduce energy use and better manage costs through a variety of energy education and energy efficiency measures, including home weatherization to reduce air flow in and out of the home and guidance to help reduce water use.

PG&E experienced a reduction in the number of homes treated early in 2018 mainly due to transitioning to a new program database. The learning adjustment for system users, coupled with system operational issues such as data migration, led to the slow ramp-up of home treatments in 2018.

Home Weatherproofing Improvement Projects through Energy Savings Assistance Program
2007 63,319
2008 61,034
2009 81,308
2010 133,329
2011 128,071
2012 115,229
2013 123,566
2014 123,539
2015 100,573
2016 74,319
2017 87,052
2018 85,168

Average PG&E residential bills for gas and electric service remain below the national averages, according to figures compiled by leading trade associations.

The average PG&E residential electric customer paid $98.66 per month, which was about 3 percent less than the national average of $101.65. Data is from 2017, the most recent year for which comparative data is available.

The average PG&E residential gas customer paid $44.93 per month, which was about 19 percent less than the national average of $55.08.

Average Monthly Electric Bills Footnote 1 (2017)
U.S. Average $101.65
PG&E Footnote 2 $98.66
Pacific $99.52
East North Central $87.00
Middle Atlantic $89.03
Mountain $95.05
West North Central $102.10
New England $102.51
West South Central $108.32
South Atlantic $121.48
East South Central $129.70
  • 1. Source: Edison Electric Institute, 2017 Statistical Yearbook1
  • 2. Source: FERC Form 12
Average Monthly Gas Bills Footnote 1 (2017)
U.S. Average $55.08
PG&E Footnote 2 $44.93
Pacific $44.92
Mountain $43.17
West South Central $41.75
East South Central $45.50
South Atlantic $54.08
West North Central $55.75
East North Central $61.17
Middle Atlantic $74.67
New England $91.17
  • 1. Source: American Gas Association, 2017 Gas Facts1
  • 2. FERC Form 2 for Pacific Gas and Electric Company, for 20172