PG&E to analyze its energy footprint

PG&E has joined with University of California Berkeley and San Francisco-based Climate Earth to measure its impact on the environment.

The utility is going after Scope 3 emissions, a broad interpretation of greenhouse gas impacts that can include everything from employee travel to products purchased. The metric was developed by the World Resources Institute and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development.

PG&E announced the project to employees this week, according to

"The intention of the work we're beginning to do with UC Berkeley and some other partners ... is really to answer: Where are the opportunities as it relates to products and services we purchase?" asked Desmond Bell, PG&E's chief procurement officer -- as reported by Tilde Herrera of GreenBiz. "As utilities, if we focus on them, we can really move the needle (of) our environmental performance."

Herrera wrote, "Goods and services to be examined range from electricity generation and transmission equipment to fleet vehicles and office furniture."

The idea is to analyze what consumes electricity and attempt to reduce it through energy efficiency measures. The premise is the same applied to cities in the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Partnership, which is getting federal stimulus funds to install lighting, HVAC and other retrofits in three counties and 33 cities to reduce electricity use and save money.

PG&E has encouraged home and business owners to monitor their energy usage online as a way to become more familiar with what behaviors cause the kWh to spike. For instance, my home account shows that my power spiked when I cranked the AC Monday when temperatures hit 108 degrees.

We'll be interested in PG&E's findings.

The San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization is a nonprofit dedicated to improving our region's quality of life by increasing its production and use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley.