Pacific Gas and Electric invests $6B annually toward system improvements

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Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) is continuing to improve upon the safety and reliability of its service as it lays the foundation for meeting customers' future energy needs – at a cost of $6 billion a year, according to statements made at a recent shareholder meeting.

"We've implemented enormous change across the company, and we're making tremendous strides," Tony Earley, president, chairman, and CEO of PG&E Corporation, told shareholders. "We know we have more work to do, and we are going to do it right."

Among those strides, Earley noted the recently opened state-of-the-art Gas Control Center in San Ramon, which allows the company to identify safety or reliability issues on the gas system and respond to them faster than ever before. Pipeline safety work has also been completed over the past three years, including hydrostatic pressure testing, pipeline replacement, and new valves that allow for faster gas shut-off during emergencies.

Earley also noted that PG&E's electric customers experienced fewer outage minutes in 2013 than in the company's history due to grid modernization investments. These investments include devices on power lines to isolate outages and reroute power automatically.

A number of initiatives are underway to "lay the groundwork for customers' utility of the future," including building a robust, modern electric grid that can integrate energy innovations such as rooftop solar, electric vehicles and smart appliances.

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