Why We're Stepping Up

We Want Saving Energy to be Second Nature

Why would an energy company like Pacific Gas and Electric want people to use less energy? It’s a fair question, and the short answer is that by using less, we can make sure that we maintain stability on the grid, keep customer energy bills affordable and keep things running smoothly.

But powering down is no small feat. Californians have already proven they are committed to creating a sustainable environment through recycling, composting and other Earth-friendly practices. Plus, our per capita electricity consumption is one of the lowest in the country. That means we’ll have to dig a little deeper and get a little more creative to meet our state’s rigorous greenhouse-gas and energy-reduction goals.

We knew we would have to find new ways to get people thinking about reducing energy waste. Our innovative campaign leverages the expertise and guidance of behavior scientists, and features steps that increase awareness,

encourage education of energy conservation and change energy-use behaviors. Ultimately, we hope to transform how businesses—and individuals—think about and use energy.


I often get asked why PG&E is doing this, and I think the simple response is about the generations that follow us and ask what did we do to make a difference. We can build a better, sustainable future for all of us and for generations to come. I wholeheartedly believe that when we come together to work toward these goals, we will all win.


Vincent Davis
PG&E Senior Director
Energy Efficiency Programs

Detailed Campaign Summary

Launched for the first time in April 2015, Step Up and Power Down is a pioneering behavior-change marketing campaign that motivates residents and businesses in California cities to join a community-wide movement to reduce energy waste. The objectives of the initiative are to increase knowledge of energy efficiency in the community and increase uptake in PG&E rebate and incentive programs. The initiative is based on the idea that engaging, upbeat behavioral strategies can instill small changes at the individual level, which collectively add up to big savings for the community and for California.

Step Up and Power Down asks residents and businesses to pledge to reduce energy waste. Once engaged, participants are offered various services based on their energy saving opportunities and interest. Larger businesses can conduct an on-site energy audit specific to behavior and operational changes as well as behavior-change campaigns for employees. Technical audits, comparative, use reports and building operator trainings are also available.

Smaller businesses receive individual attention from our city partners, often in their preferred languages, to help implement energy-saving actions tailored to their business sectors. All participants get help accessing rebates and incentives for equipment changes and local and city-wide recognition for their achievements. An important part of Step Up and Power Down is engaging all levels of a business in the effort to reduce energy waste instead of just the people who make equipment decisions.

Last year more than 4,700 businesses and residential households took the pledge to reduce energy waste across Redwood City, San Carlos, San Francisco, San José and Woodland. This year, Step Up and Power Down is getting ready to make a big impact in another California city. Follow us on social media and check back soon for updates on where we’re headed and how you can get involved.