PG&E Volunteers Travel To Gulf Coast For Habitat For Humanity’s Annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project
SAN FRANCISCO – Pacific Gas and Electric Company today announced that four employee volunteers are spending the week of May 11-16 on the Gulf Coast to work alongside former U.S. President and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Jimmy Carter and his wife, Rosalynn. PG&E also announced plans to continue its partnership with Habitat for Humanity International (HFHI) by granting over $1 million to cover the installation costs of solar generation systems on all Habitat-built homes within PG&E’s northern and central California service area in 2008.
“It’s an honor to have our employees represent PG&E at the 25th annual Carter Project,” said Ophelia Basgal, vice president of civic partnerships and community initiatives at PG&E. “Being an active member of a community means supporting the very organizations that make communities thrive. Through our partnership with Habitat for Humanity International we demonstrate how affordable, renewable power and housing can energize Habitat families, volunteers and their communities.”
Four PG&E employees are joining thousands of volunteers to build and rehabilitate 60 homes and frame up to 48 more in the host cities of Biloxi, Gulfport and Pascagoula, Miss., as part of the 25th annual Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter Work Project hosted by Habitat for Humanity of the Mississippi Gulf Coast. The PG&E employee volunteers were selected by a panel of Habitat for Humanity and PG&E union and nonunion representatives for their demonstrated commitment to volunteerism and passion for supporting the community.
As part of this year’s project, volunteers will build houses in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Alabama. The Carters will visit some of these sites and help build houses in New Orleans and Covington, La; Bay St. Louis, Miss.; and Mobile, Ala., to help raise the awareness of ongoing recovery taking place in the communities along the Gulf Coast.
PG&E’s participation in the 2008 Carter Work Project is part of the company’s broader support of Habitat for Humanity International. PG&E’s Solar Habitat Program began in 2005 by donating solar systems on 12 homes supporting the Oakland-based East Bay affiliate of Habitat for Humanity. Since then, the program has expanded dramatically to 18 Habitat affiliates and PG&E-sponsored solar installations on 128 homes. Through this one-of-a-kind program, PG&E provides expertise, volunteers and charitable grants to help build energy-efficient homes and install roof-top solar powered systems. In addition to lowering energy bills for these families, the program seeks to promote energy literacy throughout underserved communities and increase enrollment in PG&E’s free energy assistance programs for low-income families. As a result, Habitat homeowners need to buy less power to meet their basic energy needs, which saves them money and protects the environment.
PG&E’s partnership with HFHI will allow for 64 homes to be outfitted with energy-saving solar arrays this year. These solar panels will each generate nearly 300kWh of clean, renewable energy from sunlight each month, saving the families approximately $500 a year on energy costs. Each panel will also help avoid the release of more than 132,000 pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere over the 30-year life of the system. In 2007, PG&E donated $1.2 million to HFHI to cover the installation costs of 65 solar arrays on Habitat-built homes.
For more than 10 years, PG&E has supported local Habitat for Humanity affiliates with more than $635,000 charitable dollars for general operating support, home sponsorship and event sponsorship. PG&E employees have also embraced Habitat for Humanity, volunteering more than 3,500 hours a year.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation, is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in northern and central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/about/.