SAN FRANCISCO — Pacific Gas and Electric Company recently announced the start of its Winter Gas Savings program, which gives eligible residential and business customers an opportunity to earn an automatic bill credit of up to 20 percent for reducing natural gas usage during peak months.
Customers who lower usage during December 2012 and January 2013 by up to 10 percent will receive an equal percentage credit on their February or March gas bill. Those who conserve 10 percent or more will receive a 20 percent credit.
As a convenience, customers do not need to apply for credits, which will be determined automatically by comparing natural gas usage reductions this season to the three previous winters, adjusted for weather.
During last year’s program, nearly two million customers earned credits totaling $41 million.
“We appreciate the dedication and commitment our customers have shown to conserving their usage of natural gas,” said Steven Malnight, PG&E’s vice president of Customer Energy Solutions. “We are excited to help them adopt easy ways to save energy and reward them for their efforts to reduce their natural gas usage.”
Customers can track their progress toward earning bill credits using a web-based, Facebook-enabled Progress Tracker tool. Through the tracker, customers with a gas SmartMeter™ can easily compare their current estimated average daily usage to their three-year daily average to determine if they are on track to earn a bill credit. The Progress Tracker is available at pge.com/progresstracker and facebook.com/pacificgasandelectric.
Customers can take simple steps to reduce natural gas usage and potentially qualify for the credit. Examples include:
· Lower the thermostat to 68 degrees during the daytime if it is safe to do so.
· Reduce shower time by half to save as much as 33 percent on water heating costs.
· Set the water heater to 120 degrees or the “normal” setting.
· Wash clothes in cold water instead of hot.
· Open blinds and drapes on sunny days.
· Microwave small amounts of food instead of heating them up in the oven.
For additional tips, tools and resources for conserving gas see pge.com/wintergassavings.
The Winter Gas Savings program was established in 2005 to help conserve natural gas following the supply squeeze caused by Hurricane Katrina. This year the program will come to a successful close.