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PG&E recognized for delivering clean electricity 

Utility’s renewable energy portfolio, effective energy efficiency programs touted in national report

pg&EPacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is ranked as a top utility for delivering clean electricity to its customers and implementing effective energy efficiency programs, according to a report released today by Ceres, a leading environmental sustainability advocacy organization. Clean-tech sector research and advisory firm Clean Edge co-produced the report.

In a study that examines the deployment of clean energy by 32 investor-owned electric utility companies in 2012, PG&E ranked first in cumulative annual energy efficiency savings, a reflection of the company’s long history and commitment to helping customers use less energy and make better energy consumption choices. The report also ranked the Central and Northern California utility third for the amount of renewable energy it provided to its customers.

“One of the keys to becoming the leading utility in the country is to be innovative and environmentally sensitive, and this report from Ceres and Clean Edge shows how we’re achieving that in the key area of clean energy,” said PG&E President Chris Johns. “Our customers want PG&E to provide solutions to the challenge of global warming, while at the same time helping them use less energy and save money. As their local utility, we’re focused on partnering with our customers to develop innovative energy solutions and meeting their needs well into the future.”

PG&E’s top ranking comes as a direct result of making customer energy efficiency a part of its core business focus. The utility designs and administers energy efficiency programs intended to empower customers to eliminate wasteful energy use and save money. PG&E’s programs exceeded the California Public Utility Commission’s energy savings goals for both 2012 and 2013, which last year saved customers more than $155 million on their energy bills and resulted in a reduction of more than 720,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

In 2012, the company also provided its customers with electricity that had among the lowest greenhouse gas emissions rates in the country, about one-third the national utility average. With an electricity mix comprised of nearly 55 percent carbon-free sources, PG&E continues to be a leader in clean energy production and procurement. According to the report released by Ceres and Clean Edge, PG&E achieved its top clean energy ranking by providing an electricity mix in 2012 that was comprised of 17 percent renewable energy. This figure underestimates the actual amount of California-eligible renewable energy that was delivered to PG&E’s customers in 2012, which topped 19 percent. And, in 2013, the amount of renewable electricity delivered to PG&E’s customers continued to grow and stood at 22 percent. Given this progression, PG&E is well on its way to meeting California’s renewable energy target of 33 percent by 2020.

The Ceres and Clean Edge report follows similar recognition PG&E received this year from the Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA). The company was included in SEPA’s seventh annual “Utility Solar Rankings” report, which measures a utility’s newly installed solar power connected between January 1 and December 31, 2013. For the sixth consecutive year, PG&E earned a first-place ranking in the Solar Megawatts category with more than 1,400 megawatts installed. PG&E was also ranked sixth in the Solar Watts-Per-Customer category. In fact, in PG&E’s service territory, there are more than 120,000 rooftop solar customers — more than any other utility in the nation.

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About the author: Publisher Scott Brennan

Scott Brennan is the publisher of this newspaper and founder of Access Publishing. Follow him on Twitter, LinkedIn, or follow his blog.