Utility customers conserved, saved millions

The Associated Press
Tuesday October 30, 2001

SAN FRANCISCO — More than one third of eligible utility customers answered Gov. Gray Davis’ call to cut electricity use by 20 percent and earned a 20 percent discount on their power bills, utilities said Monday. 

Combined, the customers will save millions of dollars on their electric bills, and by reducing their power use kept themselves from being charged record rate hikes passed by the state Public Utilities Commission in the spring. 

To get the discount, customers of all sizes had to trim their power use by 20 percent or more during any one of the four qualifying summer months — June through September. 

A third of Pacific Gas and Electric Co.’s 4.6 million electric customers saved a combined $120 million on their electric bills.  

At Southern California Edison, more than 373,000 customers saved a combined $855,956. About 374,000 San Diego Gas and Electric customers earned a combined $6.24 million. 

Californians slashed their power use so much they were lauded by state and utility officials as a chief reason the state weathered the summer heat without having to shut off the lights.