March 2013

Save money with CARE

Save Money

Monthly discount on energy bills for income-qualified households.

At PG&E, we understand these are challenging economic times. With PG&E's Breathe Easy Solutions™, we'll help you manage your energy costs—which can be helpful when there is an unexpected change in your financial situation. Together, we can find solutions.

California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program provides a monthly discount on electric bills for income-qualified households.

Learn more about CARE

Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program provides a monthly discount on the electric bills for income-qualified households of three or more.

Learn more about FERA

Our free services help reduce your energy use Available for income-qualified households

House work

Conserve energy and save money with PG&E's Energy Savings Assistance Program. This no-cost program is available to income-qualified renters and homeowners who reside in houses, apartments or mobile homes. Program offerings may include:

  • Energy saving home improvements including compact fluorescent lights, caulking and low-flow showerheads.
  • Replacement of your old refrigerator furnace or water heater.*

For more information, call 1-800-743-5000 or visit energy savings assistance program

*Furnace and water heater repair or replacement may be available to eligible homeowners when PG&E determines existing natural gas units are inoperative or unsafe.

Important Information: Changes to Pacific Gas and Electric Company's Collections Practices

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PG&E is making changes to our collections, customer notification and disconnection practices to conform to the minimum timelines and processes authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission for the investor-owned utilities in a recent decision (D.12-03-054). The changes will be effective beginning April 1, 2013.

We understand these are difficult financial times, and service disconnection is not an action we take lightly. It is a last resort taken only after all other alternatives have been explored. Please call us at 1-800-743-5000 if you are having difficulty paying your bill.

We're here 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to help.

What's changing:

Most customers will no longer receive a separate 15-day paper notice when their account is past due and subject to disconnection. Instead, customers will receive an alert printed directly on the following month's energy statement.

Copy of updated Bill showing 15-days notice
PG&E's collections timeline will be more closely aligned with the other investor-owned utilities in the state.

pge collections timeline

Payment Options

We offer several convenient ways for customers to pay their bills in person or online, including options to pay using credit/debit cards, cash, check or money order.

For more information, visit Ways to Pay

Financial Assistance

PG&E offers a number of financial assistance programs to help customers who have difficulties paying their bill including:

  • Programs for customers who need one-time help to pay bills, balance payments out over the course of a year or to establish a payment plan.
  • A monthly discount on energy bills for income-qualified customers through the CARE/FERA program.
  • Free weatherization services for income-qualified customers through the Energy Savings Assistance Program to help lower bills.

You may have received a Winter Gas Savings bonus credit!

Conserving gas this winter may have really paid off.

Thanks so much if you participated in Winter Gas Savings this past December and January. By making small changes, you may have conserved gas and earned a bonus credit. Check the "Gas Account Detail" section of your bill to see if you qualified for a credit.

This is the last year for Winter Gas Savings. Stay tuned for bigger and better energy-saving programs and initiatives from PG&E.

Natural gas customers: Important gas safety information regarding inspection and maintenance of customer-owned piping

PG&E's natural gas distribution pipelines connect to customer-owned piping near the gas meter. Customer-owned piping includes any above ground or buried pipe from where the meter “tee” connects to pipe leading into a building or house, to a fence or wall enclosing gas-fired equipment, to an appliance, or from the house to a swimming pool heater, spa or other building (please see below).

Graphical representation of natural gas distribution pipelines

PG&E does not own, maintain or inspect the gas lines beyond the meter. Customers* are responsible for maintaining any customer-owned piping on their property from the meter to the house or business. Customer-owned piping should be periodically inspected for leaks and if it's metallic, for corrosion.

A licensed plumber or qualified contractor can locate, inspect and repair buried piping on your property. If corrosion or a dangerous condition is discovered, piping should be immediately repaired.

Damage from excavation is the most common cause of pipeline accidents. Always be sure to call Underground Service Alert (USA) at 811 at least two working days before you dig—even in your own yard—to have underground lines located and marked.

USA is a free service that will notify underground utility operators in the areas of your planned work. PG&E will then locate and mark our underground gas and electric facilities. Customer-owned pipelines are typically not located by calling 811. Contact a plumber or licensed contractor to have customer-owned pipelines located before digging. Respect the marks and dig with care using hand-digging methods.

If you have questions about gas pipeline safety, please call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000.

*"Customer" refers to the owner of the gas piping system served by PG&E. This may be either the property owner or another party who owns the gas piping.