Amount PG&E donated to charitable organizations in 2013, totaling more than 1,500 grants to nonprofits

To ensure the neighborhoods we share with our customers are great places to live and work, every year we invest in partnerships that enrich educational opportunities, preserve our environment and support the vitality of our communities. Our community investments demonstrate that we are more than just a utility. We’re committed to preserving and building on what makes California great: thriving neighborhoods, diversity, environmental stewardship and opportunity.

Our Approach

Each year, PG&E provides numerous grants to organizations across Northern and Central California—supporting 501(c)3 non-profit organizations, schools and local governments. Our strategy is to provide several high-impact grants to support our focus areas, balanced with more than 1,500 local grants to support community needs that also align with our focus areas.

Our three focus areas are Education, Economic and Community Vitality, and Environment. Within these areas, we continue to prioritize supporting underserved communities and partnerships that provide volunteer opportunities for our employees.

2013 Charitable Contributions

We also make in-kind contributions and provide 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.

PG&E also offers several ways for employees to direct the community investment process on a local level:

  • Our Power Your Community grant program enables employees who volunteer more than 50 hours with one organization to apply for grants of up to $2,500 for that organization.
  • Our Community Service Award program allows employees who log more than 25 volunteer hours with one organization to direct $250 to that organization.
  • Each Employee Resource Group at PG&E is given the opportunity to direct funds to community groups and activities.

PG&E also matches employee contributions to educational institutions and environmental organizations and now provides matching funds for EnergyPAC contributions.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company once again 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.

2013 Milestones

PG&E’s community investment program is powering local organizations and fostering healthy, vibrant communities where our customers live and work. Here are highlights from each of our three focus areas.


To create opportunities for students throughout our service area—especially those interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields—we provide scholarships for higher education and grants to help students learn about energy and the environment in new ways. Highlights include:

  • A Bright Minds scholarship winner is joined by Tony Earley, Chairman of the Board, CEO and President of PG&E Corporation.
    PG&E Bright Minds Scholarships. We awarded $1 million in scholarships to 100 students in our service area. Of those, 10 deserving students earned five-year scholarships. And for the first time, we hosted a PG&E Scholars Summit: scholarship recipients attended a tour of PG&E facilities and a workshop, giving them a chance to network, gain career-building skills and hear what it’s like to work at PG&E. Overall, PG&E Bright Minds Scholarships have helped 300 students complete their higher education, 60 percent of whom majored in STEM fields.
  • (Photo by Tracy Correa)
    Students at Bakersfield’s Independence High School show their $1,000 scholarships from PG&E.
    PG&E New Energy Academy. The first class of students graduated from this unique public-private partnership, which creates a school-within-a-school focused on STEM skills for hundreds of students at five public high schools in our service area. In addition to completing a three-year curriculum preparing them for college and possible careers in energy and clean technology, the graduating students were each awarded a $1,000 scholarship from PG&E.

Economic and Community Vitality

To foster safe and vibrant neighborhoods throughout our service area, we help communities prepare for and recover from natural disasters, provide career training, support local businesses and offer energy assistance to low-income families. Highlights include:

  • In its inaugural year, the 10 Economic Vitality Grant program recipients were spread throughout Northern and Central California.
    Economic Vitality Grant Program. We awarded $250,000 to California organizations in this new program to encourage job training and development. Recipients included a commercial kitchen incubator in Watsonville, a workforce training program for adults with developmental disabilities in Bakersfield and an entrepreneur mentoring program in Sacramento, among others.
  • (Photo by Tracy Correa)
    One of 58 Bakersfield-area teens on the job.
    PG&E Summer Jobs for Youth. We expanded our PG&E Summer Jobs program five-fold, with a $1 million commitment. The program provided career training to nearly 800 youths in Fresno, Bakersfield and Sacramento. More than 200 went on to receive PG&E-funded summer positions with local businesses, earning $1,500 for their work—a direct economic contribution of more than $300,000 in income to underserved families. To date, we’ve provided training for nearly 1,000 youths and paid summer jobs for 274 youths.
  • (Photo by Tracy Correa)
    PG&E works closely with first responders and the American Red Cross to encourage customers to be prepared before an emergency or a natural disaster.
    Ready Neighborhoods Program. We continued to partner with the Red Cross to prepare Californians for how to respond to a disaster, especially when first responders are stretched thin. PG&E’s $2.5 million investment enables the Red Cross to teach community groups how to become first responders in times of emergency, identify shelter locations, and assemble and distribute emergency kits. To date, PG&E’s investment has helped train, educate or engage more than 1 million people in California.


PG&E works to preserve California’s natural resources and promote renewable energy, environmental education and conservation—and by enhancing the environment, we help improve the well-being of our communities. Recent highlights include:

  • Lodi High students dig holes where nesting boxes will be installed.
    PG&E Nature Restoration Trust. We sponsored a project by Lodi High School students to restore nearly an acre of sensitive habitat along the Mokelumne River through the PG&E Nature Restoration Trust, a partnership with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Students planted native vegetation, removed invasive species and built nest boxes for birds while learning about how their efforts would enhance species diversity, stabilize the soil and protect the habitat.
  • (Photo by David Kligman)
    PG&E employees install solar panels on a Habitat for Humanity condominium complex in Daly City.
    PG&E Solar Habitat Program. We celebrated the 100,000th rooftop solar installation in PG&E’s service area at a Habitat for Humanity worksite in Walnut Creek. Through this award-winning program, PG&E fully funds the installation of solar panels on every new Habitat for Humanity-built home in our service area. The program saves each family approximately $500 a year on energy costs, avoids the emission of 132,000 pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere over the 30-year life of the system and provides popular volunteer opportunities for our employees.

Measuring Progress

In 2013, PG&E contributed more than $23 million to charitable organizations through more than 1,500 grants, representing 2.1 percent of our pre-tax earnings from operations from the prior year. This exceeded our 1.1 percent target and the benchmark of 0.96 percent based on the median percentage of total giving from Fortune 500 companies.

Total Charitable Contributions

PG&E’s community investments are focused on providing assistance to underserved communities, such as low-income individuals, communities of color, women and girls, veterans, senior citizens, people with disabilities and members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community. In 2013, 80 percent of PG&E’s community investments were directed toward these groups.

An independent study showed that PG&E’s community investments supported nearly 420 jobs and $38.9 million in economic activity in our service area. In fact, the study said that every dollar invested by PG&E created another 90 cents of economic output. The study, based on 2012 data, measured the positive impact of our community investments on the recipient charitable contributions.

Looking Ahead

In 2014, PG&E expects to again provide more than $23 million in charitable funding, with a continued emphasis on supporting underserved communities and our focus areas of Education, Economic and Community Vitality, and Environment.

Within that framework, we plan to focus on strengthening the connection between our educational investments and STEM subjects—with an eye toward developing California students who are uniquely prepared to tackle the clean energy challenges of the future. We also are working to strengthen the tie between our community investments and our future workforce needs, such as seeking ways to connect scholarship recipients with PG&E internship opportunities. And we will continue to seek new ways to support economic vitality within the PG&E service area, recognizing that PG&E’s long-term sustainability is linked to the vitality of the communities we are privileged to serve.

Our Sustainability Journey





Economic Vitality