Conservation program keeps growing

The Associated Press
Friday August 03, 2001

The state’s 20/20 energy conservation program will shell out $60 million in rebates for utility customers who made significant cuts in their power use in June. 

About 27 percent of Pacific Gas and Electric Co. customers and 28 percent of Southern California Edison customers trimmed their bills by 20 percent over last year. They’ll get a 20 percent rebate on their next statements. 

San Diego Gas & Electric Co. customers had only to cut their use by 15 percent, because residents there had conserved power last year when their electricity bills tripled.  

About 38 percent of San Diego customers this year will get the rebate. 

The program has been a greater success than state officials estimated when it was proposed this spring, during the height of the power crisis. 

Federal officials, including energy regulators, “were making fun of the idea of conserving, calling it a personal virtue,” said S. David Freeman, Gov. Gray Davis’ energy adviser.  

“Well, this place is the most virtuous place on earth.” 

About 2.6 million residential customers will share $28 million in rebates, averaging just less than $11 each. 

The rebates compare electric use from this summer to last summer, and are available to about 10 million homes and businesses who receive their electricity from PG&E, SDG&E or Edison. The rebate was intended to arrive at summer’s end but now appears on each monthly bill. 

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