MENDOCINO Co., 12/25/20 — Many people are facing financial challenges during the pandemic, and with arrival of cold temperatures, electric bills can add up quickly. There are a number of programs that can help PG&E customers with their electricity bills, including a moratorium on service disconnections for residents and small commercial businesses due to non-payment, and other ways to reduce your bills.
Here’s more info from PG&E:
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif.— As COVID-19 cases rise throughout the state, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) continues to offer support in numerous ways for customers navigating the unprecedented pandemic and reminds our customers that we’re here to help.
“We immediately took action earlier this year to provide support for customers financially impacted by the pandemic and all of those protections remain in place as we move into 2021. We are also reminding customers about the various resources and programs we have available to help them lower their energy costs,” said Laurie Giammona, PG&E’s Chief Customer Officer and a Senior Vice President.
Actions to Protect Customers
PG&E intends on maintaining the following customer protections through April 16, 2021:
- Moratorium on service disconnections for non-payment for residential and small commercial customers;
- Post-enrollment verification and re-enrollment requirements have been suspended for theCalifornia Alternate Rates for Energy Program(CARE) and Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program (FERA);
- Security deposits are being waived for small commercial customers (residential customers are not required to submit security deposits);
- Customers on the Medical Baseline program offering customers with qualifying medical conditions a lower monthly rate on energy bills are not being asked to re-certify through a doctor or other eligible medical professionals for up to one year.
PG&E helped almost 200,000 customers enroll in the CARE program this year providing income-qualified customers with a monthly discount. At the end of October, more than 1.57 million PG&E customers were enrolled in CARE, compared to the 1.39 million enrolled at the end of February prior to the shelter-at- home mandates.
More Energy Saving Resources and Financial Assistance Programs
To take advantage of additional programs, tools and savings opportunities, PG&E recommends customers become more familiar with the following:
- Separate from CARE, income-qualified households with three or more persons can apply for the FERA at pge.com/FERA for an 18% discount on their electric bill.
- Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) provides income- qualified customers with financial assistance during times of hardship. Customers impacted by COVID-19 will be provided with up to an additional $100 in bill payment assistance through April 16, 2021. The program is funded by PG&E through tax-deductible contributions from customers and employees. To donate, click here.
- The federally-funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides financial assistance to help offset eligible household energy costs, including heating, cooling and home weatherization expenses. To learn more, dial 211 or (866) 675-6623 for LIHEAP income guidelines and a list of participating agencies.
- Convenient ways to pay that can help better manage energy costs. Start by logging onto your PG&E online account to monitor energy use and check or compare your rate plan. Explore programs, like Budget Billing to help avoid or manage unanticipated high bills.
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