Pacific Gas & Electric Co. is taking the unusual step of making proactive phone calls to several thousand customers whose properties were devastated by the October wildfires.
The utility initiated the effort about one week ago to give customers a chance to ask questions about their bills or other aspects of the rebuilding process PG&E might be able to help with, according to spokeswoman Deanna Contreras.
In the wake of the wildfires, PG&E temporarily stopped billing thousands of Northern California customers in fire-affected areas, causing some frustration among residents whose bills accumulated for months even after they started service at a different address. As PG&E began releasing those suspended bills, the company was at first only calling customers whose bills were $500 or more.
Now, PG&E has decided to contact about 7,000 customers in Sonoma, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties whose properties were rendered uninhabitable by the wildfires, Contreras said. PG&E doesn’t normally make such widespread proactive calls — and warns an alleged phone call like that can signal a scam — but the company deemed this effort necessary due to the disaster, according to Contreras, though she stressed the utility won’t ever ask for personal information such as Social Security numbers or demand payment immediately.