For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Alice La Pierre, (510) 981-7435

Berkeley Announces Natural Gas Energy Saving Contest for Berkeley Residents

Berkeley, California (Thursday, December 03, 2009) - Natural gas customers who reduce their gas bills in January and February 2010 by at least 10% from their 2009 will be eligible to enter the City of Berkeley’s second annual Berkeley, Get Off Your Gas! natural gas efficiency contest. All eligible will also benefit from a 20% bill credit from PG&E.

The Berkeley, Get Off Your Gas! contest is aimed at rewarding Berkeley residents who reduce their natural gas energy consumption between January and February 2010.  Most residents use 3 times as much natural gas than electricity. About 75% of greenhouse gas emissions from residential buildings are from natural gas appliances, mainly space and water heaters, as well as stoves and clothes washers. See tips below to lower natural gas usage.

To qualify, you must be a Berkeley resident living in the same home since at least January 1, 2009, and receive a natural gas energy bill from PG&E.  Renters and homeowners are both eligible as long as they receive a PG&E natural gas bill, either directly or from a landlord. A number of prizes will be offered, including gift certificates to local green businesses and energy efficiency prizes.  PG&E will also give an additional 10-to-20% credit for saving natural gas during this period. 

We’re looking for your most creative ideas for saving natural gas.  A part of the contest application, which will be available in February 2010, will allow you to describe what you did to save natural gas this winter.  To see our video from the 2009 contest, see our website at and search for “Get Off Your Gas”.

Tips to Lower Natural Gas Usage

Customers can reduce their natural gas energy use in a number of ways, such as lowering water heater temperature to 120 F. and washing laundry in cold water to help achieve this. Using a clothesline or rack when possible will also significantly reduce energy use.

The best way to lower your water heater temperature is to lower it until you no longer need to mix cold water into the shower.  Also, program your thermostat to 68 F or lower when your home is occupied, and to 60 F or off when no one is home for more savings.

Some water saving measures, such as a water-efficient showerhead that uses no more than 2 gallons a minute will also save natural gas.  More extensive measures, such as attic, wall and floor insulation, air sealing and weatherstripping will garner deeper savings.  These measures will also make your home more comfortable, reduce air infiltration, and can reduce access for pests such as ants or mice.

This contest is co-sponsored by PG&E.  For information on their winter bill credit program, visit.