MARTINEZ, Calif., March 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) today celebrated the Martinez Unified School District (MUSD) as the 75,000th solar customer in its Northern and Central California service area.
Through the California Solar Initiative (CSI) program, PG&E provides rebates that will total more than $1 million for the school district's nine solar systems that are expected to generate approximately 1.85 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year. This is the equivalent of powering more than 100 homes and will help avoid the emission of nearly one million pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
"By becoming PG&E's 75,000th solar customer, the Martinez Unified School District is saving money, helping the environment and reducing our dependence on foreign oil," said Congressman Mike Thompson, who represents California's 5th Congressional District. "Their dedication to going solar with PG&E furthers California's leadership in customer-owned solar power."
With the interconnection of the 75,000th solar customer, PG&E continues its nationwide leadership in bringing rooftop solar power to customers, generating more than 755 megawatts of electricity, enough electricity to power close to 190,000 homes annually. In fact, PG&E's solar customers represent about 30 percent of the total rooftop systems in the entire country.
"At the Martinez Unified School District, we pride ourselves on being stewards of the environment and taking on new ways to make a difference," said Rami Muth, superintendent of the Martinez Unified School District. "We are honored to be recognized as the 75,000th solar customer in PG&E's service area – an impressive milestone for PG&E and its solar customers."
The MUSD first reduced its energy usage through PG&E's energy efficiency programs. Through simple steps such as: upgrading to LED exit signs and energy-efficient lighting, retrofitting and tuning up HVAC systems, and replacing older thermostats with programmable thermostats, the MUSD has earned $213,447 in PG&E incentives and rebates. These steps helped the school district save almost 1.5 million kWh of electricity and more than 35,000 therms of natural gas per year.
"Helping the Martinez Unified School District further expand California's leadership in energy efficiency and rooftop solar is part of the ongoing partnership we have with our customers," said Steve Malnight, vice president of customer energy solutions for PG&E. "This partnership leverages PG&E's expertise in delivering the benefits of energy efficiency and solar to our customers and will provide the school district's students with access to a living laboratory of clean energy solutions."
PG&E has provided more than $840 million in solar rebates so far through the CSI program. Launched in 2007, CSI incentives have declined over time to encourage early adopters to participate and stimulate the solar marketplace. Residential CSI incentives are expected to come to a successful end this spring.
The Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has ranked PG&E as the top utility in the United States for additions of solar power for the past four consecutive years that the rankings have been released (2008-2011). In 2011, more than 240 utilities participated in SEPA's Utility Solar Rankings.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/newsroom/ or www.pgecurrents.com.
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)