Category Archives: PG&E

PG&E Increases Energy Efficiency Incentives for Customers Rebuilding after Wildfires

SAN FRANCISCO— Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today announced it will increase financial incentives for energy-efficient construction practices in homes or businesses rebuilt after a wildfire. Customers participating in the Advanced Energy Rebuild initiative will receive incentives to adopt building practices now that will become required for all new construction in 2020. The enhanced incentives will be available to customers who lost a building in a recent major wildfire like the Carr or Camp fires.

“These new financial incentives cover some, if not all, of the additional cost of higher-efficiency appliances and building improvements like insulation, advanced windows, air sealing and heat pumps for water and space heating. The result is a more comfortable and sustainable building with lower utility bills for generations to come. We realize our customers have many priorities and challenges right now, and hopefully this program will help,” said Aaron Johnson, a vice president in PG&E’s electric operations who is leading the company’s rebuilding efforts in Butte County.

Expanding Upon a Successful Model

The Advanced Energy Rebuild program was originally developed by Sonoma Clean Power and PG&E after the October 2017 wildfires in the North Bay. Today’s announcement makes the same program available to all areas impacted by wildfire – not just Sonoma and Mendocino County customers.

To date, approximately 100 customers have taken advantage of Advanced Energy Rebuild in the North Bay. “The Advanced Energy Rebuild helped our family reach our goal of designing and building the most efficient home possible. Funds from this program helped offset upgrades in our HVAC system and water heater that would have been extremely difficult to do to otherwise,” said a participant in the program from Sonoma County.

 Helping Customers Rebuild Efficient Homes

California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards, called “Title 24, Part 6,” guide residential and nonresidential building and construction across the state. The standards help to lower energy costs and reduce greenhouse gases associated with the building. Single family homes built to the upcoming 2020 requirements will use approximately 20 percent less energy than homes built to the 2016 standard. The Advanced Energy Rebuild initiative offers customers the opportunity to receive incentives to take these steps a year early, resulting in support for their rebuild and a high performance, low energy use home.

Supporting Savings for New Homes

PG&E is encouraging customers to build high-performing homes that will result in lower energy bills. Customers can receive between $7,500 to $17,500 in incentives depending on building choices they select.  An efficient, all electric home with solar would earn the highest incentive. Incentives are available to serve customers with destroyed homes or businesses in nine Northern California counties – including Mendocino, Sonoma, Lake, Napa, Solano, Butte, Yuba, Plumas and Nevada – where wildfires occurred in 2017 and 2018. These customers are eligible for incentives if they pull a permit for a new building by the end of 2019, regardless of where they rebuild.

How to Learn More

Customers wanting an early indication of the program requirements can review the Advanced Energy Rebuild website at  http://cahp-pge.com/advanced-energy-rebuild/ 
or for further inquiry please contact us at Rebuild@pge.com. Funding for the program is from public service program surcharges on utility bills that are designed to increase conservation and energy efficiency in California.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

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PG&E Continues Restoring Power, Brings in More Resources

From PG&E:

Broken pole

Pacific Gas and Electric Company continues restoring power to thousands of customers each day in the North Valley and has brought in additional workers and mutual aid crews from Oregon to help local crews restore power more quickly.

More than 250 PG&E workers and partner utility workers are in the North Valley, where heavy, low-elevation snow and heavy rains on Wednesday fell trees and damaged power lines and poles. The extensive damage to PG&E equipment, coupled with blocked roads and snowy terrain, impacted 60,000 PG&E customers at its peak on early Wednesday morning.  As of 4 p.m. Friday, about 22,000 customer remain without power, most of them – or about 19,000 – are in Shasta County, which was hit especially hard by severe weather. Nearly 3,000 are without power in Tehama County communities of Cottonwood, Lyonsville, Mineral, Mill Creek and Manton.

Pole set

PG&E has established a small base camp at the Shasta County Fairgrounds in Anderson to stage materials and support crews.

With adverse weather this weekend, there may be fresh power outages. PG&E crews and its partner crews are working to assess and repair damages to electric equipment.

Even if customers don’t see crews in their neighborhood, crews are often working on another part of the system that needs repairs before their power can be restored. Power lines don’t always follow roads and often span fields, forests and rough terrain where access can be difficult in wet conditions.

PG&E knows extended electric outages pose significant challenges for our customers and apologizes for the inconvenience.  Power outages can sometimes affect gas appliances as they require power to operate.

PG&E understands reliable information about restoration timing is necessary to help customers make plans.  Customers may call 800-743-5002 for outage information or visit www.pge.com and click on the outage tab for information.  If no outage restoration time is listed for your outage, PG&E encourages customers to have a plan for possibly being without power for up to a few days.

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PG&E TO INCREASE FLOWS FOR WHITEWATER RECREATION BELOW PIT 1 DAM ON TWO OCTOBER WEEKENDS

From PG&E:

Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) urges the public to take extra safety precautions as water flows are increased on two weekends in October for whitewater recreation on a portion of the Pit River in eastern Shasta County.

The higher flows will occur below the Pit 1 Dam the weekends of October 6-7 and October 20-21. Flows will be increased from about 220 cubic feet per second (cfs) and will reach as much as 1,200 cfs by early morning on Saturday, October 6. Flows will be held before being gradually reduced starting the late afternoon of Sunday, October 7. The pattern will repeat for the weekend of October 20-21.

Recreationists in or near this portion of the river are encouraged to use extra caution during the increased flows. This portion of the river contains Class IV and V rapids, which are appropriate only for skilled paddlers. The flows are not safe for tubing.

The Pit 1 Reach is the 6.5-mile portion of the Pit River that extends from PG&E’s Pit 1 Forebay in Fall River Mills to the Pit 1 Powerhouse.

The whitewater flows are a requirement of PG&E’s license conditions for the Pit 1 Hydroelectric Project.

PG&E offers the following water safety tips:

  • Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
  • Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water’s surface. Swift water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are recommended.
  • Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides, sub-surface obstacles, fast moving water, and transitions to full tunnels and pipes.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and pge.com/news.

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PG&E to Increase Flows on Pit River Below Lake Britton and Pit 5 Dams for Powerhouse Maintenance and Whitewater Recreation

BURNEY, Calif.— Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is urging the public to take extra safety precautions as water flows are increased on the Pit River below the Lake Britton Dam and Pit 5 Dam starting in September.

The higher flows are needed so PG&E can perform maintenance on the Pit 3 powerhouse tailrace, a concrete channel that carries water out the powerhouse and into the river.

While the Pit 3 Powerhouse is not operating September 1 through mid-December, no water will be diverted through the tunnel connecting the lake to the powerhouse, so water normally going through the tunnel will instead flow through or spill over the Lake Britton Dam.

Flows in the Pit 3 Reach will be about 750 cubic feet per second (cfs) from September 1 to 15, then increase to about 1,700 cfs. Flows in the Pit 3 reach typically range from 280 to 350 cfs in September. Flows may go higher during the wet season.

The Pit 3 Reach is the 4.5-mile portion of the Pit River in the Lassen National Forest between PG&E’s Lake Britton Dam and the Pit 3 Powerhouse.

PG&E is posting signage about the higher flows along the Pit River Road, and recreationists need to be aware of – and plan for – hazardous conditions.

Flows will also be higher in the Pit 5 Reach from September 5 through late November while PG&E performs planned maintenance on two generators at the Pit 5 Powerhouse.

The Pit 5 Reach is the 9.3-mile portion of the Pit River that extends from PG&E’s Pit 5 Dam to the J.B. Black Powerhouse near Big Bend. This portion of the river contains Class III, IV and V rapids, which are appropriate only for skilled paddlers. The reach is not appropriate for tubing.

Normal flows for September on the Pit 5 Reach range from 350 to 700 cfs but will range from 600 to 1,500 cfs during the powerhouse maintenance work from September 5 to late November.

PG&E will also conduct higher flows for whitewater recreation on September 8 and 9 on the Pit 5 Reach, with flows reaching at least 1,200 cfs over both days.

PG&E offers the following water safety tips:

  • Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
  • Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water’s surface. Swift water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are recommended.
  • Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides, sub-surface obstacles, fast moving water, and transitions to full tunnels and pipes. For more water safety tips visit:  www.pge.com/hydrosafety

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PG&E Activates Emergency Operations Centers to Support Carr Fire Response

PG&E press release dated July 27, 2018:

SAN FRANCISCO— Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today activated multiple emergency operations centers to support the emergency response to the Carr Fire burning in Shasta County. PG&E’s first priority is the safety of customers, employees, contractors and the communities it serves.

PG&E is supporting first responders and local agencies, monitoring its gas and electric infrastructure, and providing mutual assistance to Redding Electric Utility, which provides electricity to approximately 44,000 customers in the City of Redding. To support response efforts, PG&E has activated its Emergency Operations Center at its San Francisco headquarters, its Gas Emergency Center in San Ramon, as well as a local support center near the wildfire.

Additionally, PG&E’s new Wildfire Safety Operations Center is fully staffed and continues to monitor active fires as well as other potential fire threats and weather conditions across PG&E’s service area in real time.

At the request of Cal Fire, PG&E has turned off power to some electric customers located outside the City of Redding as an emergency measure to support safety and firefighting efforts. To date, PG&E has turned off gas service for safety to approximately 500 customers, also at the request of Cal Fire. This count of gas customers impacted is expected to grow.

PG&E has a plan to deal with these situations and wants customers to be prepared and have plans, too, in the event of an electric or gas outage. Once in safe location, PG&E asks customers to take 5 minutes and update their contact info at www.pge.com/mywildfirealerts so they can be reached if necessary. Customers should call 911 or PG&E at 1-800-743-5000 to report a downed power line or if they smell gas.

In March, PG&E launched its Community Wildfire Safety Program to implement additional precautionary measures intended to reduce the risk of wildfire threats and strengthen communities for the future. In addition to establishing its new Wildfire Safety Operations Center, PG&E:

  • Added more than 50 new weather stations – with a total of around 200 planned in 2018 – to provide improved awareness of fire danger conditions and better predict where a wildfire could occur.
  • Enhanced vegetation management in high fire-threat areas to meet new state vegetation and fire safety standards and create safe space between trees, limbs and power lines.
  • Alerted more than 570,000 homes and businesses served by electric lines in extreme-fire threat areas that PG&E may have to shut off power for public safety if extreme fire danger conditions occur, as a last resort.

 

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PG&E Urges Safety During High Whitewater Flows on Pit 5 Reach

REDDING, Calif. — Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will provide high whitewater flows on the Pit 5 Reach of the Pit River in eastern Shasta County over two weekends, the company announced today.

A kayaker navigates the Pit 5 Reach of the Pit River during high whitewater flows in 2014. Photo by Jeff Cook of Spring Rivers Ecological Sciences, LLC.

The higher flows will occur on August 11-12 and September 8-9. Those recreating in or near this portion of the river are encouraged to use extra caution during the increased flows. This portion of the river contains Class III, IV and V rapids, which are appropriate only for skilled paddlers. The reach is not appropriate for tubing.

The Pit 5 Reach is the 9.3-mile portion of the Pit River that extends from PG&E’s Pit 5 Dam and the J.B. Black Powerhouse near Big Bend.

Prior to the increase for August 11-12, flows in the Pit 5 Reach will be about 450 cubic feet per second (cfs).  On early Saturday morning PG&E will gradually increase water flows until it reaches 1,500 cfs, before 10 a.m. The flows will be held at this level until about 4 p.m. that day when flows will gradually be reduced to 600 cfs.

The higher flows will be repeated the next day at the same times, then, after 4 pm, gradually decreased to the normal flow of about 450 cfs.

On the weekend of September 8-9, PG&E will increase flows to 1,200 cfs on both days. As with the previous releases, if needed, starting early in the morning the flows will gradually be increased to the target level by 10 a.m. and then after 4 p.m. gradually decreased to more normal flow levels. But starting September 5, flows in the Pit 5 Reach will already be in the 1,000 to 1,500 cfs range in September due to a planned maintenance outage at the Pit 5 Powerhouse, and will remain above their seasonal normal until November when maintenance finishes.

The whitewater flows are a requirement of PG&E’s license conditions for the Pit 3, 4, and 5 Hydroelectric Project.

Due to the potential for wild fires in the region, higher flow dates are subject to change. PG&E recommends verifying the dates via the PG&E recreation website www.pge.com/recreation/.

PG&E offers the following water safety tips:

  • Sudden immersion in cold water can stimulate the “gasp reflex,” causing an involuntary inhalation of air or water. It can even trigger cardiac arrest, temporary paralysis, hypothermia and drowning. When faced with swift water, even the strongest swimmers may be easily overwhelmed.
  • Many unseen obstacles can be lurking below the water’s surface. Swift water can make these obstacles even more treacherous. Guided trips for inexperienced paddlers are recommended.
  • Recreating in PG&E canals and flumes is strictly prohibited. Stay out of canals and flumes, which are very dangerous due to slippery sides, sub-surface obstacles, fast moving water, and transitions to full tunnels and pipes.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

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PG&E Flying Low in Shasta, Tehama, Lassen, Trinity to Inspect for Dead Trees

REDDING, Calif.—As part of its ongoing response to California’s tree mortality crisis, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will conduct aerial patrols in Shasta, Tehama, Lassen and Trinity counties on June 12 and 13 to identify dead trees that could pose a wildfire or other public safety risk.

Five years of drought and bark beetle infestation in California have caused millions of trees to die or become structurally compromised. We’ve made significant progress to help reduce wildfire risk by removing dead and dying trees and we’re not slowing down. We will continue this critical safety work in 2018, Carl Schoenhofer, PG&E’s senior manager of PG&E’s North Valley Division.

Every year, PG&E inspects and monitors every overhead electric transmission and distribution line, either on foot or by air, with some locations patrolled multiple times. Since the tree mortality crisis began, the energy company has increased foot and aerial patrols in high fire-risk areas to twice a year and up to four times a year in some locations. In 2018, PG&E expects to patrol over half of its overhead distribution lines at least two times.

PG&E is using a contract helicopter service to fly foresters over the area to inspect trees. Patrolling by air allows the company to cover many miles quickly and efficiently, and reduces impacts on the ground. Residents are advised that the helicopter will fly low – at about 200 to 300 feet above the ground – along distribution power lines, and higher in areas where livestock are present.

On June 12, flights will occur over the Shasta County communities of Fall River Mills, McArthur, Cassel, Hat Creek and Old Station. Flights will also occur over the Lassen County communities of Nubieber and Bieber.

On June 13, flights will occur over the Tehama County communities of Manton, Paynes Creek, Dales, Mineral, Mill Creek, Lyonsville and Platina, as well as Shingletown in Shasta County and Wildwood in Trinity County.

Depending on clear weather conditions, flights will occur between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

About PG&E

Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.

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