PG&E heat storm credit for customers, $10 million
more for low-income residential customers
From the PG&E News Department
September 7, 2006
Pacific Gas and Electric Company today received approval from
the California Public Utilities Commission to provide financial
relief to every single electric customer with a one-time credit
based on their electricity bills for the period that includes
the July heat storm.
The Heat Storm Bill Credit will be 15 percent for all residential
customers and 10 percent for all other customers, including agricultural,
business, commercial and governmental entities. An additional
$10 million will be provided to the Salvation Army, which administers
Pacific Gas and Electric Company's REACH (Relief for Energy Assistance
through Community Help) program, to assist low income customers
with their energy bills.
"This initiative is about finding creative solutions to
help those who are coping with the financial impacts of the heat
storm," said Helen Burt, senior vice president and chief
customer officer. "We recognized right away that some customers
would be hit hard, and we quickly came up with a proposal to assist.
This puts $125-150 million back in the hands of our customers
in the fastest way possible. It's a perfect example of the strong
customer focus we're establishing for PG&E."
Electric customers will receive the credit on their October bill
based on the bill received for the summer heat storm which blanketed
California from July 16-27. For some customers, the heat storm
period may span two billing cycles, in which case the company
will look at both bills and provide a credit based on the larger
The Heat Storm Bill Credit follows the unprecedented July heat
wave experienced by the entire west coast which caused a spike
in electricity consumption as customers were struggling to stay
comfortable in the blazing temperatures. Comparing July to June,
PG&E residential customers' electricity usage increased by
an average of 28 percent per customer from 537 kilowatt hours
to 690 kilowatt hours as a result of the higher temperatures.
The average residential bills increased an average of 44 percent,
from about $79 to $114. Regions such as the Central Valley, where
typical summer residential use is higher than average, saw even