Program coincides with the ending of the service-disconnection moratorium
–Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced on Wednesday that it will auto-enroll eligible customers in new extended payment arrangements by the end of Sept. 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,” said Marlene Santos, PG&E executive vice president and chief customer officer. “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.”
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-percent of their average bill (5-percent for customers in disadvantaged communities) 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.