Learn about the PG&E Vulnerable Customer program
Apply for Vulnerable Customer status
We help address the needs of our customers whose life or health would be at risk should their electric or gas service be disconnected. To self-certify for Vulnerable Customer status, you must download, print and submit an application that is valid after acceptance by PG&E. Get a copy of the application. Download Vulnerable Customer Application (PDF, 173 KB).
Continue reading to get more information on program requirements and to learn about other financial assistance programs, services and payment options.
Learn about Vulnerable Customer requirements
Households with one or more individuals who have self-certified that they have a serious illness or condition that could become life threatening if their electric or gas service is disconnected for nonpayment receive an in-person visit from a PG&E representative before disconnection. Our representative posts a notice within 48 hours before or at the time of disconnection for nonpayment.
Vulnerable Customer status remains on your PG&E account for 90 days. If you believe that you or your household member's illness or condition will extend beyond 90 days, you must complete the Vulnerable Customer Application to request a one-year extension.
Understand how we help customers with their energy bills
We recognize how difficult economic times can affect our customers. We’re committed to providing solutions for those who may have fallen behind on their bills, particularly our vulnerable customers. We offer many ways to help our customers with their energy bills, including:
- Financial assistance programs to support customers in the following ways:
- Get one-time help to pay bills
- Budget billing over the course of a year
- Establish a payment plan to get current on late bills
- The California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) Program, which offers a minimum discount of 20 percent for low-income-qualified customers
- The Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESAP), which provides free weatherization services for income-qualified customers
- Automatic payment service (APS), which allows payments to be deducted directly from a checking account of choice
Get information on other programs
Visit the following sections to learn about other financial assistance programs, services and payment options.
The following programs can help you save money:
- Receive a monthly discount on your energy statement through the California Alternate Rates for Energy Program (CARE). Learn more about CARE.
- Receive a monthly discount on your electric bill when you live in a household of three or more people. Learn more about Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA).
- Receive a Medical Baseline Allowance. Residential customers who have special energy needs related to a medical condition may apply for this program. Qualification is not income-based. Learn about Medical Baseline Allowance.
- Get help with improvements to your house, apartment or mobile home, including compact fluorescent lights, caulk, showerheads, minor home repairs and more. Learn more about Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESA).
Get financial assistance
You may be eligible to enroll in the following one-time payment assistance programs to get help during a financial hardship:
- Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH)
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Learn about REACH
We sponsor REACH, a one-time energy-assistance program that The Salvation Army administers from 170 offices in Northern and Central California. REACH helps income-qualified customers who have experienced an uncontrollable or unforeseen hardship and are unable to pay for their energy needs.
Eligible customers may receive an energy credit up to $200. The credit amount is based on the past due amount of the statement. REACH assistance may be available once within an 18-month period, but exceptions may be made for seniors and those who are physically challenged or terminally ill.
Get details on the program. Visit REACH (Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help).
Learn about LIHEAP
The California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) oversees this federally funded assistance program. LIHEAP is administered by 48 Action Agencies throughout California.
LIHEAP offers two types of assistance:
- Financial aid to help offset the cost of heating or cooling a home
- Home weatherization
We partner with organizations that work in your community. Priority is given to families who meet the following criteria:
- Spend a high percentage of their income on energy and/or have elderly or disabled family members
- Have children under three years of age
You can dial 211 to learn about LIHEAP income guidelines and get a list of participating agencies. You can also get details online. Visit LOW-INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP).
Get details on our Budget Billing
Get help leveling the highs and lows of your monthly energy statements. With our Budget Billing, your bills are more equalized throughout the year, rather than spiking when the outside temperature is either hot or cold. This plan helps make your bills more predictable and easier on your budget.
Learn the details of the plan. Visit Budget Billing.
Make a payment arrangement
If you have trouble paying your PG&E energy bill, we work with you to set up flexible, convenient payment arrangements to help you avoid service disconnection.
To request a payment arrangement, call our customer service representatives at 1-800-743-5000, or log in to your online account. Visit Payment Arrangement.
For general questions, contact our Customer Service Center at 1-800-743-5000.
Access additional resources
The following resources provide related information:
- Breathe Easy Solutions™. We’re dedicated to helping customers through numerous programs and community outreach projects. Learn about our programs. Download PG&E Programs to Manage Your Energy Bills (PDF, 219 KB).
- Third-Party Notification. Learn how to help friends or relatives who might overlook paying their PG&E statement because of illness, financial hardship or other issues. Visit Third Party Notification.
- WEConnect. This national program connects families to programs and services that can help them get ahead. Learn more about the program. Visit WEConnect.
Learn how rates are set, and understand your rate plan options.