Statewide program to help residents with unpaid PG&E bills

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Joe Sison /Staff
PG&E's statewide Arrearage Management Plan will allow California residents to save up to $8,000 in unpaid balances and keep their power on after the statewide ban on disconnecting electricity ends Sept. 30.

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A state program will now allow California residents to save up to $8,000 in unpaid balances on PG&E bills and keep their power after the statewide ban on disconnecting electricity comes to an end Sept. 30.

According to a press release from the city of Berkeley, those in the program, which is known as the Arrearage Management Plan, will only be required to pay the cost of current usage for the next 12 months. With each on-time payment, one-twelfth of an unpaid bill will be forgiven, with up to $8,000 that can be cumulatively forgiven. 

Eligibility requirements include being enrolled in one of PG&E’s financial assistance programs, owing at least $500 on a gas and electric bill, being more than 90 days past a due payment, being a PG&E customer of at least six months and having made at least one on-time payment.

The press release added that currently, solar net energy metering, master-metered customers and master-metered customers with submetered tenants are not eligible for the program. 

The moratorium, enacted by the California Public Utilities Commission, directed utilities to stop disconnecting customers who cannot pay their bills. Beginning Oct. 1, if not enrolled in this program, residents will need to pay their outstanding bills or risk having their service disconnected.

Mela Seyoum is a deputy news editor. Contact her at [email protected], and follow her on Twitter at @MelaSeyoum.