Customers and Communities

Community Investments



Amount PG&E donated to charitable organizations in 2012, totaling more than 1,500 grants to nonprofits

Through its community investments, PG&E is working to build strong and enduring ties with the local communities where our customers and employees live and work. Whether we are engaging students in protecting wildlife habitat, supporting disaster preparedness in underserved neighborhoods or helping some of California’s brightest students achieve the dream of a college degree, PG&E works throughout the year to make a difference.

About Our Community Investments

In 2012, PG&E donated $23.2 million to charitable organizations, including more than 1,500 grants to nonprofits. This translated to 2.2 percent of our pre-tax earnings from operations from the prior year, exceeding our 1.1 percent target and the benchmark of 0.98 percent based on the median of total giving from Fortune 500 companies.

Civic 50 logo
Pacific Gas and Electric Company earned a spot on the Civic 50 as one of America’s most community-minded companies. The list highlighted the S&P 500 corporations that best use their time, talent and resources to improve the quality of life in the communities where they do business.

Most of these contributions were made to nonprofit organizations in Northern and Central California, and PG&E also makes in-kind contributions and provides other forms of support to community groups. As always, PG&E’s community investment program is funded entirely by shareholders and has no impact on our customers’ electricity or natural gas rates.

In 2013, PG&E expects to again provide more than $23 million in charitable funding, with a continued emphasis on supporting underserved communities.

Community Investment Focus Areas

PG&E’s community investment program focuses on three areas: Education, Environmental Stewardship, and Economic and Community Vitality. We also place a priority on partnerships that provide volunteer opportunities for our employees.

The chart below shows the breakdown across our focus areas.

2012 Charitable Contributions
Total Charitable Contributions


In the past 10 years, PG&E has provided $57 million toward educational initiatives that help prepare students and teachers both for their own futures, and for the future of California and the energy industry. Signature programs from 2012 include:

PG&E Bright Minds Scholarships

Bright Minds scholarship winner Erica McCray.

Bright Minds scholarship winner Erica McCray, center.

The inaugural Bright Minds program was PG&E’s largest scholarship program ever: an investment of $1 million to help college students with tuition and other educational expenses.

From a pool of more than 8,000 applicants, 10 students were selected from throughout PG&E’s service area as recipients of $30,000 renewable scholarships. The program also awarded one-time $2,500 scholarships to another 90 students. Ranging in age from 17 to 48, the winners share a passion for education and serving their communities.

PG&E New Energy Academy

New Energy Academy students perform an energy audit at the American Red Cross chapter in Stockton.

Developed in partnership with the California Department of Education, PG&E New Energy Academies create a school-within-a-school at five high schools in our service area. The immersive training program is the first of its kind in California designed for high school students. Participants study a curriculum focused on science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills, preparing them for trade crafts or “green” technology jobs.

Since 2011, PG&E has committed more than $1 million toward classroom enhancements, equipment and supplies and a $1,000 scholarship for each student of the inaugural class graduating in 2013.

PG&E Bright Ideas Grants

Students at Munsey Elementary School in Bakersfield used kits to make solar cars that they raced at the school on Tuesday.

Students at Munsey Elementary School in Bakersfield used kits to make solar cars that they raced at the school.

Recognizing that public schools face hard economic times, PG&E Bright Ideas Grants give teachers and schools the financial support and resources they need to help implement innovative environmental and energy projects.

In 2012, this program donated more than $450,000 to 64 schools in grants of up to $10,000 each. Projects made possible by the program included a school-wide science fair in Fresno, a race of student-built, pint-sized solar cars in Bakersfield, and instruction in robotics in East Oakland.

Environmental Stewardship

As a local utility, PG&E understands that when we enhance our environment, we improve the well-being of our communities. Our environmental stewardship partnerships promote energy efficiency and renewable energy, educate students and communities on stewardship of our land and waters, and benefit our neighborhoods, parks and recreation areas.

PG&E Solar Habitat Program

PG&E employees install solar panels on a Habitat for Humanity condominium complex that will provide housing to 36 families.

PG&E employees install solar panels on a Habitat for Humanity condominium complex that will provide housing to 36 families.

A partnership between PG&E and Habitat for Humanity International, PG&E’s Solar Habitat program funds the full cost of solar electric systems on every Habitat-built home in Northern and Central California. Doing so furthers PG&E’s commitment to provide affordable, renewable energy in the communities it serves.

Each installation generates nearly 300 kWh of renewable energy from sunlight each month, saving families approximately $500 a year on energy costs. And employees can get involved as well; since 2007, PG&E employees and retirees have donated thousands of volunteer hours at Habitat-build sites across Northern and Central California.

PG&E Nature Restoration Trust

Volunteers from PG&E and the local community clean and restore Marsh Creek in Oakley.

Volunteers from PG&E and the local community clean and restore Marsh Creek in Oakley.

Through the PG&E Nature Restoration Trust, we are working in partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to help protect California’s diverse wildlife. Together, we provide grants to community-based restoration projects that benefit wildlife, fish and plant species in Northern and Central California. Major funding for the program comes from PG&E, which has committed more than $1.9 million since 2000 to support projects throughout our service area.

The Trust funds projects that offer educational opportunities and encourage community involvement in conservation efforts. For example, community volunteers with the Friends of Marsh Creek Watershed worked side-by-side with PG&E employees to restore three acres of shoreline along Marsh Creek in Contra Costa County.

Economic and Community Vitality

PG&E is committed to invigorating the neighborhoods where our customers live and work. Our partnerships include investments in local job creation and economic development initiatives, support for civic projects that vitalize local communities and collaboration with local organizations to support emergency preparedness efforts.

PG&E Summer Jobs for Youth

Summer Jobs Program certificate

Students received a certificate demonstrating they had completed workshops on resume writing and interviewing as part of the PG&E Summer Jobs Program.

In 2012, we invested $200,000 in the inaugural year of PG&E Summer Jobs for Youth, a partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of Fresno County. The program provided career training to more than 200 youths in some of the neediest neighborhoods in the Fresno area, and 55 went on to earn PG&E-funded summer positions with local businesses.

The students earned $1,600 for their work, and eight were offered longer-term positions once the program ended in July. At their graduation in August, PG&E surprised the students by announcing that each would receive a netbook computer. In 2013, we expanded the program with a $1 million commitment to create jobs and support training for youth in Fresno, Bakersfield and Sacramento.

PG&E Ready Neighborhoods

PG&E volunteers helped to pack emergency preparedness kits at an American Red Cross event.

PG&E volunteers helped to pack emergency preparedness kits at an American Red Cross event.

As a longtime partner of the American Red Cross, PG&E understands the vital nature of disaster preparedness. The utility is the major financial supporter of Ready Neighborhoods, which launched in 2011 with the help of a $1 million PG&E contribution. The goal of the program is to transform 50 underserved Northern and Central California neighborhoods into models of disaster readiness.

In 2012, PG&E donated an additional $2.5 million to the program. And at a Monday Night Football game in November, nearly 50,000 people pledged to take personal action on disaster preparedness through Causes.com when PG&E announced a $1 donation to the Red Cross on behalf of each participant.

Helping Underserved Communities

PG&E’s community investments are focused on providing assistance to underserved communities, such as people with low incomes, communities of color, women and girls, veterans, senior citizens, people with disabilities and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In 2012, 77 percent of PG&E’s community investments were directed toward these groups.

Employee Giving Program

PG&E’s Campaign for the Community is an annual employee and retiree giving campaign. Participants can pledge a percentage of their salary and direct their donations to schools and other nonprofit organizations that are important to them.

Campaign for the Community logo

PG&E’s 2013 Campaign for the Community raised more than $6 million for community organizations.

In our 2013 Campaign for the Community, employees pledged more than $6 million—exceeding our $5.6 million goal and setting a new record for PG&E. The funds will be distributed throughout 2013 to more than 5,400 schools and nonprofit organizations—environmental groups, hospitals, community centers, food banks and many others—to help keep important programs and services alive in our communities. Forty-one percent of employees made pledges to the 2013 campaign, along with retirees. Since 2000, PG&E’s employee giving program has raised more than $46 million for communities primarily within Northern and Central California.