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PG&E Seeks Court Permission To Fund Energy Efficiency Programs

04/24/2001

San Francisco, CA -- Pacific Gas and Electric Company filed a motion with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court today asking the court to confirm that the funds collected by the utility for Public Purpose Programs -- including energy efficiency, low income, research and development and renewable generation programs - are not part of the bankruptcy estate and can be used to honor pre-petition obligations incurred in connection with the Public Purpose Programs.

If its motion is approved by the court, Pacific Gas and Electric Company will be able to immediately pay for costs incurred in connection with the Public Purpose Programs prior to April 6, the day it filed for protection under Chapter 11 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. The utility owes approximately $37 million to consumers who have requested rebates and to contractors who have performed work in customers' homes and businesses to make them more energy efficient. A favorable ruling will also ensure that the $260 million now in the energy efficiency accounts will be fully available for payments for these programs.

Pacific Gas and Electric Company operates the most extensive energy efficiency programs in the nation, and the continued vitality of these programs will be a critically important part of California's efforts to reduce the severity of rolling blackouts this summer.

The utility collects more than $200 million each year from ratepayers, and administers energy efficiency programs under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission. The funds are used to provide customers with rebates for energy efficient appliances, lighting and equipment; weatherization services for low-income customers; and consulting services for residential and business customers. Pacific Gas and Electric Company's ratepayers also fund research and development and renewable generation programs through the California Energy Commission.

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