San Francisco, Calif. | March 25, 2015 — Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) has reached a significant milestone by connecting the 150,000th solar customer to its electric grid. In addition, during 2014, the utility connected more rooftop solar customers to its grid than any other year in its history.
More than 45,000 new solar customers were added in 2014 alone. During this time period, PG&E added approximately 326 MW of installed solar power – enough to power more than 70,000 homes.
On average, the company is connecting about 4,000 new solar customers per month across Northern and Central California, more than any other energy company in the nation. Approximately every 11 minutes, PG&E connects a new solar customer to its electric grid.
“Every month, thousands of PG&E customers are choosing to go solar to help them save on their bill and to reduce their carbon footprint. Solar power is critical to California’s clean energy future and we are 100 percent committed to getting even more customers connected with solar in 2015,” said PG&E’s Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer, Laurie Giammona.
The Marine Mammal Center, the world’s largest marine mammal rehabilitation hospital, uses solar energy to help power its operations and saves enough on their energy costs to feed roughly 200 sea lions per month.
“Running a hospital for sea lions and seals is an incredibly energy intensive endeavor. We have pumps and filters moving water through a filtration system every hour – that requires a lot of energy and ultimately costs a lot. Whatever dollars we can save through our solar installation, we can put right back into the care and feeding of the animals that we treat here,” said Dr. Jeff Boehm, executive director at the Marine Mammal Center.
CK Mondavi Family Vineyards, one of the largest wineries in the world and a PG&E solar customer, reduced its carbon footprint and now harvests the abundance of Napa sunshine to help power its winemaking production.
“Successful winemaking requires diligent stewardship of the land and the environment. Installing solar was not only the right choice to reduce our energy costs, but it was also the right choice for the environment. Anything we can do to benefit the land and the people around us, while also helping the business thrive, is always going to be a top priority. PG&E was the energy expert and supported us throughout every step of our solar journey,” said Marc Mondavi, Co-Proprietor, CK Mondavi Family Vineyards.
Customer Resources for Going Solar
Every day, PG&E is helping customers make solar more affordable and hassle free. The company has reduced the average application processing time for new solar connections from an industry average of four weeks down to five days. In addition, PG&E offers a solar calculator, which helps customers estimate the appropriate size for their solar system, the likely cost and how much energy it will help them save.
To help customers maximize the cost savings from their solar investment, PG&E also offers resources to increase energy efficiency such as Home Energy Checkup as well as information on various financing options, how to hire a contractor and incentives for adopting renewables.
See how a San Anselmo family recently utilized PG&E online resources to help them go solar and understand the process on the latest episode of Energy House Calls.
Finally, the company is pleased to soon offer its electric customers a new clean energy program that will provide up to 100 percent solar power for a modest cost premium each month. Known as the green option, the program will let customers buy into a pool of clean solar energy, locally produced in PG&E’s service area. PG&E expects to start enrolling customers in the program during the fourth quarter of this year.