Various Programs Provide Rebates, Offer Leases or Supply Free No-Cost Batteries for Low-Income Customers Using Medical Devices; There's Even a Program for Customers Who Can Pair Home Battery Storage Systems with Rooftop Solar
June 8, 2021 - SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. — There are several easy-to-use programs available to assist customers during a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) which occurs during severe weather to prevent wildfires. For those customers who need electricity for very specific needs, such as charging and operating medical devices or running their well pumps, having a battery or generator option becomes a vital solution to lessening or overcoming the impacts of a PSPS.
And that's why PG&E offers numerous programs that enable many of our customers to obtain discounted or free backup batteries. And the best time to look into those programs to see if you qualify and to get a battery in place is now, before the start of California's wildfire season when a PSPS most typically happens.
"Our most important responsibility is the safety of our customers and our local hometowns. Providing help to customers investing in backup power and/or battery storage is one way we can help. We continue to update our programs and support to enhance access to backup power for customers to keep essential devices such as medical equipment and electric well pumps powered during PSPS events," said Marlene Santos, PG&E's Chief Customer Officer.
PG&E encourages qualified customers to take advantage of the following programs:
- PG&E's Generator Rebate Program that was launched last year for well pump customers is now being expanded to cover rebates for qualified portable batteries to support Medical Baseline customers in high-fire threat areas (HFTD, eligible customers must live in Tiers 2 or 3 HFTDs defined by the CPUC fire map) ahead of this year's PSPS events.
- Applies to qualifying purchases made from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.
- Customers can apply for the rebate.
- PG&E's Portable Battery Program provides no-cost portable batteries to low-income customers who rely on medical devices to sustain life, live in high fire-threat districts and are enrolled in the Medical Baseline and CARE programs. There are a variety of batteries that can provide a range of backup power options, depending on need.
- In 2020, PG&E collaborated with community-based organizations to provide more than 5,500 portable batteries.
- This year, PG&E is continuing to work with five Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program providers and Richard Heath and Associates to deliver additional batteries. Program partners are reaching out to eligible customers.
- Customers can learn more about whether they qualify for the program.
- Also continuing in 2021 is the Disability Disaster Access and Resources (DDAR) Program, a joint effort with the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) to support people with disabilities and older adults before, during, and after a PSPS event. The program enables qualified customers who use electrical medical devices to access backup portable batteries through a grant, lease-to-own or the FreedomTech low-interest financial loan program. CFILC administers all aspects of the program. Transportation resources, lodging and food options are also provided through an online application process to qualified customers.
- To date, more than 1,100 portable batteries have been distributed via the partnership.
- In 2020, more than 560 hotel stays, 900 food vouchers, and accessible transportation for over 30 individuals was provided through the DDAR program.
- PG&E is a program administrator for the statewide Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP). Eligible customers have been installing permanent home battery storage systems that if paired with solar can support throughout a PSPS event at no or low cost to them. Incentives through SGIP are available to eligible residential and non-residential customers; PG&E recommends customers learn about the program and find a contractor.
PG&E understands how disruptive it is for our communities to be without power and continues to provide more help to customers with disabilities, hardships, language barriers and other needs. For more information, visit pge.com/psps and pge.com/homebattery.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is a combined natural gas and electric utility serving more than 16 million people across 70,000 square miles in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.