PG&E Automatically Enrolling Qualified Customers Who Are 60 Days Behind on Energy Bills in Payment Plans
New Program Protects Customers from Shut offs While Helping Them Pay Down Their Balance Over Time
As part of ongoing efforts to provide help and assistance for customers to manage their bills, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) will auto-enroll eligible customers in new extended payment arrangements by the end of September 2021. The new program coincides with the ending of the service-disconnection moratorium which is part of the COVID-19 emergency customer protections in place since March 2020.
“We are here to help customers during these times of increasing financial hardships. We want as many customers who are eligible to take advantage of these programs. Even as COVID-19 customer protections come to an end, our support won’t. The new payment plans were created to assist customers pay down their past-due balance over time and protect them from disconnection of service due to non-payment,” said Marlene Santos, PG&E executive vice president and chief customer officer.
Residential and small business customers with a PG&E bill at least 60 days past due will automatically be enrolled over the next few weeks starting with their September bill.
The monthly payment plan amount for residential customers will be their outstanding balance equally divided over 24 months. For example, if a residential customer owes $1,200 the payment arrangement would be $50 a month. Payment installations for small business customers will be calculated based on no more than 10% of their average bill (5% for customers in disadvantaged communities1) over the past 24 months.
To view the amount of their payment plan installations customers can sign into their PG&E account online. It will also be on their monthly energy statement under the Account Summary section.
Residential customers who miss more than two payments, and small business customers who miss one payment within a 12-month period, will be removed from the payment plan. As a last resort, gas and/or electric service may be disrupted approximately 45 days later unless payment is received. Disconnection of service is an action that PG&E does not take lightly. Customers having a hard time paying their bills should contact PG&E immediately at (800) 743-5000.
Ways for Customers to Save on Energy Bills
Automatic enrollment in the new payment plan program will not change enrollment in financial assistance programs. We encourage customers struggling to pay their bills to learn more about the following programs:
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) offers up to $1,000 to pay eligible household energy costs.
- Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) Program offers one-time financial assistance to qualified customers with past-due bills.
- Arrearage Management Plan (AMP) offers up to $8,000 in unpaid balance forgiveness, if a customer is enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy Program (CARE) or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program (FERA), owes a specific bill amount and are more than 90 days past due.
- PG&E’s Medical Baseline Program as well as various external programs such as the California COVID-19 Rent Relief Act helps income-eligible households pay rent and utilities, both for past due and future payments. Renters and landlords are eligible to apply.
PG&E remains committed to providing support for customers during this transition, and we want customers to know we are here to help. To learn more about additional resources and financial assistance programs visit pge.com/covid19 or call 800-743-5000. Financial resources for business customers are available here.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.
1 Refers to specific communities that have been recognized by the CPUC as the most in need of investments to improve public health, quality of life, and economic opportunity. For more information, see https://oehha.ca.gov/calenviroscreen/sb535
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