Customer Energy Efficiency

PG&E is spearheading $1.3 billion in customer energy efficiency programs between 2010 and 2012.
For more than 30 years, PG&E has been a strong, national champion for energy efficiency, implementing a diverse array of programs, services and campaigns aimed at helping our customers save energy and money. In total, PG&E’s programs have avoided the release of approximately 145 million metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere, based on cumulative lifecycle savings, and helped customers save more than $24 billion on their energy bills.

Our customers fund these programs through “public purpose program” charges embedded in gas and electric rates. This funding allows us to offer a diverse portfolio of programs that includes a mix of rebates and financial incentives, training and education, support for commercializing new and emerging technologies and other activities, such as advocacy for stronger building codes and appliance standards.


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Importance of “Decoupling” PG&E’s Revenues from Energy Salesmore...

A California regulatory policy, known as decoupling, is a key factor in the success of statewide energy efficiency programs. Decoupling helps remove the financial incentive most utilities have to sell more energy. With decoupling, the state's utilities collect no more and no less than the revenues necessary to run their business and provide a fair return to shareholders. If sales rise above these levels, extra revenues go back to customers, rather than to the bottom line of the company; if sales fall below these levels, utilities are assured they can recover the shortfall in the future.

Due to decoupling, rather than focusing on growing energy sales, PG&E can focus on aggressively pursuing efforts to reduce energy use without the disincentive of a significant financial loss. Moreover, the state of California offers utilities the opportunity to earn a financial benefit in return for achieving ambitious energy efficiency targets. The policy also includes the potential for penalties if goals are not met. This combination of decoupling and incentives continues to drive significant efficiency gains.

Energy Efficiency Resultsmore...

Our gas and electric energy efficiency programs and goals are authorized by the CPUC on a three-year program cycle. PG&E exceeded the CPUC's energy savings goals for the 2006 to 2008 cycle, saving customers more than $650 million on their energy bills. In recognition of the 2008 results, the CPUC awarded PG&E $33.4 million in incentives during 2009, bringing the total energy efficiency incentives awarded to PG&E's shareholders for 2006 to 2008 to nearly $75 million. The CPUC is expected to issue a decision on any additional revenues from PG&E's 2006 to 2008 programs by the end of 2010.

To allow additional time to align utility programs with the CPUC's new long term energy efficiency strategic plan for California, the CPUC directed PG&E and the state's other investor-owned utilities to continue their successful 2008 energy efficiency programs into 2009. Last year, we exceeded the CPUC's goals, achieving savings of 1,593 GWh, 273 MW and 25.3 million therms. These savings avoided the emission of more than 720,000 million metric tons of CO2 and nearly 170 tons of NOx.

In 2009, PG&E also received approval for the next program cycle, 2010 to 2012, with a budget of $1.3 billion—the largest investment in energy efficiency by any U.S. utility. PG&E's savings goals for the three year period are 3,110 GWh, 703 MW and 48.9 million therms.

Click on the links below to review various charts showing customer energy savings and the associated avoided emissions.

1 Annual energy savings refers to the first-year impacts associated with installed customer energy efficiency projects.

2 Data (gross energy savings) is derived from the 2009 4th Quarter Report to the CPUC on March 26, 2010. The gross energy savings are measured against gross energy savings goals for 2009 through 2012 established in CPUC Decision 09-09-047.

3 CPUC Decision 09-09-047 established gross energy savings goals for 2009 through 2012.

On the Horizon for 2010more...

Moving forward, we are focusing our energy efficiency programs even more on the customer—from how we design our programs to how they are ultimately delivered. Doing so will give customers greater control of their own energy use and more opportunities to save energy and money.

From 2010 to 2012, PG&E will implement a number of innovative strategies to better integrate energy efficiency with other clean energy solutions, such as demand response, customer-owned solar and emerging home energy networks.

As an example, we will implement a new statewide program to reward customers for shifting from simply replacing a single appliance to adopting "whole house" energy-saving retrofits. This $100 million statewide program aims to reduce energy use by 20 percent in 130,000 homes through the end of 2012 by encouraging customers to take comprehensive energy-saving steps such as installing air sealing, insulation, HVAC, lighting and high efficiency appliances.

We are also strengthening our coordination with California's other investor-owned utilities to standardize key statewide energy efficiency offerings and incentives—making it easier for customers to participate while improving program efficiency from economies of scale.