Southern California environment news and trends

PG&E wants to offer utility customers more green options

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Jaime Rius/AFP/Getty Images

California’s largest utility this week has proposed a new way to support green energy.

Dubbed the “Green Option,” the program would allow Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s five million customers in cities like Napa, San Jose and Berkeley the chance to pay an average of $6 more per bill to help fund renewable energy solutions like wind farms and solar plants. According to a press release from PG&E, the proposal recently sent to the California Public Utilities Commission is the result of customer demand.

"On behalf of our customers, PG&E is already one of the largest suppliers of renewable energy in the country," said Helen Burt, senior vice president and chief customer officer of PG&E in the release. "We have heard from many of our customers, however, who want to do even more to support clean energy and the green economy. Our Green Option, backed by an independent third-party's environmental certification, will give them that choice."


Bakersfield middle school unveils new solar power system

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LA Wad/Flickr

Thanks to a $200,000 grant from Pacific Gas & Electric, Sierra Middle School in Bakersfield, CA, now boasts an impressive solar power system with the capacity to power 20 classrooms and lower utility costs. The system features 44 solar panels that generate 20 kilowatts as well as a one-kilowatt array.

The system upgrade certifies Sierra as the first “solar school model,” a new program for teaching eco-responsibility that will be implemented in 125 schools across the state.