California Public Utilities Commission approves 20/20 rate incentive program

SAN FRANCISCO, June 7, 2002 — In an effort to promote conservation and help customers manage energy costs, the California Public Utilities Commission on Thursday approved Governor Gray Davis’ 20/20 program for the second consecutive year.

Rising temperatures throughout much of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s service area means air conditioner use is increasing, and customers are using more electricity.

According to the California Energy Commission, air conditioner use statewide accounts for nearly 40 percent of electric usage, increasing demand on the system as well as energy bills.

While this year’s program is similar to the last, there are two exceptions — only residential customers can qualify for the incentive and 2002 energy usage will be compared with the same month in the year 2000. By using data from 2000, customers who reduced their energy usage last year will not be penalized for their conservation efforts in 2001. For customers who are not in the same location as last year, their electric usage will be compared against the baseline allocation for their area.

Under the state program, Pacific Gas and Electric Company customers who reduce electric usage by 20 percent compared to usage in the year 2000, during any of the four qualifying months of July-October, will receive a 20 percent savings on their electric charges. The savings, in the form of a credit, will appear on the next monthly bill (i.e. savings for the month of July will appear on the August bill).

Last year, nearly one-third of Pacific Gas and Electric Company customers — both residential and non-residential — earned the rebate. In total, the utility issued more than $120 million in rebates to its customers. Rebates issued to residential customers totaled $55 million for the 34 percent of residential customers who qualified. Of non-residential customers, 30 percent earned $67 million for reducing usage 20 percent or more.

The 20/20 rebate program is an incentive for customers to reduce their electric usage and to ultimately help avoid rotating outages. Funding for the 20/20 program comes from the California Department of Water Resources.

In addition to the 20/20 program, which officially goes into effect in July 1, 2002, customers can reduce energy usage now by taking advantage of Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s energy efficiency programs. The programs offer tips, incentives and rebates for both residential and business customers.

Residential Rebate Program (partial list of rebates):

— $50 Energy Star®Energy Star labeled room air conditioner
— $50 Energy Star® Energy Star Labeled Dishwashers
— $75 Energy Star® Energy Star Labeled Clothes Washer
— $20 Energy Star® Energy Star Labeled Programmable Thermostat

For a complete list of programs and specifications, visit the residential energy management web site at

Business Rebate Program (partial list of incentives):

— Express Efficiency: Provides a maximum of $25,000 for energy efficient equipment including lighting, air conditioning, and refrigeration for small and medium sized customers.

— Savings By Design: Offers analysis and rebates for designing and construction of energy efficient buildings.

— Business Energy Analysis: Offers energy-saving ideas in 10 minutes or less using a new business tool designed specifically for small and medium sized businesses.

For a complete list of programs and specifications, visit our business energy management resource web site at

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