Flexible Payment Arrangements Available for Customers Struggling to Pay Energy Bills due to Recent Heat Wave, Higher-than-Normal Energy Use
This summer ended up being one of the hottest in the state’s history with last month being the warmest month on record for several Central Valley cities. Historic high temperatures in many areas drove record energy use during the 10-day major heat wave earlier this month.
Preliminary usage data shows that on average, Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) customers’ residential usage increased almost 30% the week of September 4th over the same time last year.
PG&E is here to help customers manage impacts of higher-than-expected energy bills due to the heat wave with flexible payment arrangements. There are two payment plan options to choose from including installments to spread the balance over several months for up to 12 months, or an extension which lets customers pay the entire amount later.
Customers struggling to pay their bill can choose the option that works best for them by logging onto their online account or calling PG&E at 800-743-5000.
“A long stretch of extremely hot temperatures can cause energy bills to be considerably higher. We know no one wants higher-than-expected energy bills and we are here to ensure customers are equipped with the programs and tools they need to manage costs,” said Vincent Davis, Vice President of Customer Operations and Enablement at PG&E.
While customers can’t control the weather which has an impact on energy bills, there are factors customers do control:
- Choose the right rate plan for the household by utilizing PG&E’s personalized rate comparison tool.
- Enroll in free programs including Bill Forecast Alerts to receive notifications when the customer’s bill is expected to exceed an amount set by them and Budget Billing to spread energy costs evenly throughout the year.
- Sign up for income-qualified programs including the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) program offering a monthly discount of 20% or more on gas and electricity and the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program offering a monthly discount of 18% on electricity only. Some customers may also qualify for the Energy Saving Assistance Program offering free improvements to make the home more efficient, safe and comfortable.
- Check eligibility for the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program offering one-time payments to help pay household energy costs and the Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) providing one-time financial assistance to qualified customers with past-due bills.
- Take simple steps every day by setting the thermostat at 78 degrees or higher, health permitting, replace filters and close shades in the afternoon.
For more tips on how to save energy and manage costs, visit pge.com/summer.
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.