SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. —Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) outlined today a series of billing and service modifications and disaster relief and rebuilding policies to support customers recovering from the immediate aftermath of the October 2017 Northern California Wildfires.
“At PG&E, our thoughts and prayers are with our customers and communities that have been impacted by these extraordinary wildfires. We realize this is a very difficult time for everyone and we want to help. With that, we are further enhancing our standing disaster billing and credit policies to allow our customers to focus on their families and futures. We will be with our customers every step of the way, towards rebuilding the communities that we are privileged to serve,” said Deborah Affonsa, PG&E’s vice president of Customer Service.
PG&E Disaster Billing and Credit Policy
PG&E has a comprehensive disaster billing and credit place policy in place that temporarily creates a billing hold, stopping bills during and after a disaster. Under the policy, the company will not disconnect any customers within the disaster area for non-payment during the period of the emergency. PG&E will offer deposit relief for red tag customer by returning deposits on accounts, if applicable and will not charge a new deposit for up to one year. This policy will be in effect for “fire-affected areas” which include up to a quarter mile outside the fire perimeter as determined by CAL FIRE.
In activating this policy in response to the October 2017 Northern California Wildfires, PG&E has:
• Suspended all collections actions at the onset of the wildfires for all customers, both residential and commercial, within the impacted communities and beyond for those impacted by poor air quality.
• Protected customers from collections action for one year, in the impacted communities until further notice.
• Waived account re-establishment deposits for affected customers.
• Continued working with customers to provide flexible, reasonable payment arrangements as needed.
PG&E has filed a request to the CPUC, by Advice Letter, to temporarily waive the cost of installation and removal of service extensions for temporary power under Electric Rule 13 for those customers who are rebuilding.
In order to support low-income customers impacted by the October 2017 Northern California Wildfires:
• PG&E will extend all California Alternative Rate for Energy (CARE) eligibility by 12 months in impacted counties. Approximately 42,000 customers will have their CARE eligibility extended into 2019.
• PG&E is freezing all standard and high-usage Post Enrollment Verification (PEV) requests in impacted counties until at least Dec. 31, 2017 and will revisit extending this freeze.
• PG&E has contacted nine Community Outreach Contractors, the community-based organizations who assist in enrolling hard-to-reach CARE customers, in impacted counties and sent information earlier this month on freezing standard and high-usage PEVs. Follow-up calls will be made to organizations as necessary.
• PG&E has contacted The Salvation Army, the administrator of Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH), a PG&E- and customer-funded emergency assistance program, to request increasing assistance cap amount for the next 12 months for impacted customers from $300 to $600.
Billing and Credit Collections in Wildfire Impacted Areas
If a customer’s home or business was destroyed in the October 2017 Northern California Wildfires, the account will be billed through October 7, 2017, the day before wildfires started. For more information, please visit www.pge.com/wildfireresources and click on Billing for Affected Customers.
PG&E is continuing to work across the company to review policies and procedures to ensure we are supporting and providing relief to our customers who were impacted by the 2017 Northern California wildfires. Customers can reach us any time of day through our PG&E’s customer service helpline at 1-800-743-5000.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit www.pge.com/ and www.pge.com/en/about/newsroom/index.page.