PGE - It's been a hard year. We can help make it better - but you have to call us!
To help business customers manage the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily stopped disconnections earlier this year. However, we are now resuming disconnections starting Dec. 1, beginning with customers who have not contacted us to request help with their overdue balance.
We understand the hardship you and your business might be facing right now. If you need help paying your bill, it’s important that you call us today so we can help you avoid disconnection. Our customer service advisors will partner with you to provide bill support options that work for you and your business. Here are a few of the ways they can help you:
- Request more time to pay: If you just need a little more time to pay, you can request a payment extension on your current bill 24/7 by logging in to your account or calling our automated phone system at the numbers below.
- Change your due date: If you need to change the day your bill is due each month, you can do that online or by calling us. Please note that it will take a full billing cycle for any change to take effect.
- Call us for a payment plan: For many who have fallen behind, this can make all the difference. We will work with you to set up payment arrangements that work for you. A payment arrangement operates like an interest-free loan and will help you with your bill balance.
- Request energy assistance: PGE is committing $250,000 in energy assistance to directly help customers impacted by COVID-19. Funds are still available. Call our customer service team to see if you qualify.
As you may recall, in March, PGE voluntarily suspended late fees and disconnections to help customers facing financial hardships because of COVID-19. After a lengthy collaborative process led by the Oregon Public Utility Commission to understand the impacts of the pandemic on customers and on utilities, with participation from stakeholders, advocates and regulated utilities, a framework was developed to help protect customers and provide consistent timelines while also ensuring that regulated utilities effectively manage bad debt. Information about the OPUC’s workshops, including agendas, comments, data, presentations, information requests, and meeting recordings, are located on the Commission’s COVID19 page: https://www.oregon.gov/puc/utilities/Pages/COVID-19-Impacts.aspx [oregon.gov].
We wanted to let you know that PGE is among the regulated energy utilities that may resume late fees and disconnections for small business customers beginning on December 1, 2020.
We appreciate that small businesses are important to our communities and that the effects of the pandemic continue to be felt. As a result, we’ll start slowly by focusing on small business customers that have significant past due balances and have not responded to our proactive outreach over the past few months, which encouraged customers to call and discuss payment arrangements to help avoid disconnection. We are now offering new billing assistance and payment arrangement options to small business customers who contact us.
Notices of past due balances were sent, in English and Spanish, in mid-October, and 15-day and 5-day notices of disconnection will also be sent. PGE is currently doing Stop & Talks for high balance business customers whom we have not been able to reach by phone. And finally, on Nov. 17 our electronic business newsletter, which mentions the resuming of disconnects, will be sent to about 20,000 small business customers. Note: we will not implement disconnections in the latter half of December, over the holidays.
Disconnections for residential customers remain suspended until Spring 2021 and late fees will not resume until late 2022. We anticipate a series of customer touchpoints – outbound phone calls, mailings, social media posts, CBO/stakeholder outreach, etc. – to help those customers understand new programs and assistance funds that may be available to help avoid service disruption. Those touchpoints will begin being implemented at the beginning of December.