Randy DeCaminada is the executive manager for PG&E across the North Coast. He has been involved in Sonoma County business and community affairs for more than 30 years, including top positions with businesses, professional and charitable organizations. He has served in a variety of managerial positions with the PG&E and is currently responsible for all gas and electric distribution operations, customer service, community and governmental relations for Sonoma, Lake, Mendocino, Humboldt, Napa and Marin counties
Q. First, please describe some of the major initiatives that PG&E is currently undertaking, specifically in the North Bay, but also how those efforts tie into the company’s greater efforts.
A. First and foremost, PG&E is dedicated to providing safe, reliable, and affordable natural gas and electric service to our customers in the North Bay and throughout our service area. Every day in the communities we serve, PG&E works hard to ensure we are maintaining and building the infrastructure that is critical to a healthy business sector.
Furthermore, PG&E is partnering with business organizations and the community to assist in developing a balanced and sustainable business sector that enhances the area’s quality of life. We are collaborating with (Sonoma County) BEST, the North Bay Leadership Council and the County of Sonoma’s Innovation Council to ensure a strong business sector while supporting the area’s sustainability and environmental goals.
PG&E is working hard and is on track to meet the state’s renewable energy goals. In 2011, PG&E delivered more than 19 percent of its electric power from eligible renewable resources and we expect to meet the state’s 33 percent by 2020 goal. Furthermore, PG&E continues to resource a significant amount of energy through Calpine at the Geysers.
We have made it a key point in the past year to reach out to small and medium business to provide information on rates and energy efficiency opportunities. Over the past six years, PG&E has worked with customers in the North Bay to reduce energy consumption by 296 million kilowatt hours and 3.7 million therms. This equates to enough energy to power approximately 22,000 homes for one year or a carbon reduction equal to taking 19,000 cars off the road for one year.
We also continue to work with customers to develop renewable power resources to meet their own energy need through our California Solar Initiative and Self-Generation Incentive Programs. Since 2008, Marin, Napa and Sonoma counties have installed over 60,000 kW of renewable projects.
Finally, PG&E has proposed a “Green Option” program to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). This option would provide customers the ability to support 100 percent renewable energy through a modest increase in their bills (approximately $6/month for a typical residential customer). If approved by the CPUC, PG&E will begin next year offering this Green Option in the spring of next year.
Q. What are the major energy issues facing the North Bay, and what are some of PG&E’s efforts to address such issues?
A. One of the key issues facing businesses in the North Bay is creating a balance between sustaining the bottom line and meeting environmental expectations of the customers. PG&E has been working with customers to implement programs that will support this balancing proposition. As greenhouse gas reduction becomes more and more part of the local business lexicon, PG&E has been engaging with customers to make sure we are providing information and programs that meet their needs. In the municipal market, we have created reports to assist with meeting local and state carbon reduction goals. These reports provide in-depth information on current operations and pathways to meet future goals.
Q. How would you urge business leaders to go forward on issues such as energy costs? Are there efforts that perhaps they should know about?
A. One of the key issues facing businesses in the North Bay is management of expenses. We continue to work with business of all sizes to provide information that makes reducing energy expenses actionable. By ensuring businesses are on the correct rate, PG&E continues to support the sustainability of the business sector.
Moreover, PG&E has begun to leverage new technology platforms that provide real time information on energy use to businesses. We have found that the more customers are aware of their usage, the more action they can take to reduce with energy costs.
As we have for several years, PG&E offers customers a comprehensive suite of rebates and incentives to reduce their energy or to produce their own energy from renewable or clean sources of energy.
Q. What is PG&E’s response to some of the new power agencies under the “community choice aggregation” model — like Marin Clean Energy and the proposed Sonoma Clean Power?
A. For more than 100 years, PG&E has striven to provide our customers safe reliable and affordable energy, and we look forward to the opportunity to do so for many years to come. At the same time, we respect the energy choices that are available to our customers, and will continue to cooperate with local governments as they consider pursuing and/or developing a CCA program. PG&E delivers some of the nation’s cleanest electric power. More than half of the electricity we provide to our customers comes from sources that are renewable and/or emit no greenhouse gases, which includes the country’s largest utility-owned system of clean hydroelectric generation. In fact, PG&E’s electricity creates only one-third as many greenhouse gas emissions per kilowatt-hour compared to the industry average.
Already a leader in renewable energy, PG&E continues to work hard to add more green resources to our power mix as affordably as possible for our customers.
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