FRESNO, Calif., Sept. 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Customers spoke, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) listened. To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, PG&E today unveiled a new energy statement in Spanish at a community fair at the Mexican Consulate in Fresno. The utility's Spanish-speaking customers can request to receive an all new energy statement in their own language, featuring a larger type size, at-a-glance billing numbers, and new information that will help them better understand and manage their energy usage.
The Spanish language option is part of the utility's complete redesign of its monthly energy statement. Basic information such as the total amount due, due date, account number, and PG&E's contact information is easier than ever to find. Graphs and charts show daily energy usage and trends in monthly bill totals, with further details on subsequent pages. The new monthly statement incorporates detailed suggestions provided by about 1,200 customers through focus groups and surveys.
"We are delighted to launch our new energy statement in Spanish, especially during Hispanic Heritage Month. It is a credit to our customers' thoughtful advice on how to make their energy statements work for them," said Jesus Soto Jr., Senior Vice President of gas transmission operations at PG&E. "They told us what they need to know each month and suggested how we could better tell that story. The result is much more than a bill. It's a powerful tool for helping customers take charge of their energy use and hopefully save money in the process."
"PG&E is demonstrating their commitment to the Hispanic community by giving access to a bill which is easier to understand and in Spanish," said Vicente Sanchez Ventura, Consul of Mexican Consulate in Fresno. "It is truly satisfying to work with companies who have the best interests of their customers in mind. In particular, those companies like PG&E, who recognize the validity of the Mexican Consular ID cards and accept them as methods of identification when making their services available."
"According to U.S. Census data, one in five Californians speaks English less than well, but this shouldn't prevent them from understanding their energy bill," said Orson Aguilar, Executive Director of the Greenlining Institute. "PG&E should be commended for becoming the first utility company in California to offer bills in Spanish and Chinese. This will help hundreds of thousands of PG&E customers better understand their bills and how they use energy."
Beginning this month, full-service residential electric or gas customers can request their statements in Spanish by visiting pge.com/spanishbill or contacting PG&E's Spanish service line at 1-800-660-6789. Statements are also available in Chinese, in Braille and large print.
PG&E has served and engaged with California's Hispanic-American communities for more than 100 years. They in turn have played a major role in determining how the company delivers services to its customers. In June, the utility deployed a Spanish Specialty Line and designated a group of 62 bilingual customer service representatives to handle inquiries from Spanish-speaking customers.
In addition, PG&E's customer service hotline provides support in 190 languages through over-the-phone interpretation services. PG&E also launched a Spanish web site (pge.com/espanol) to improve access for non-English speaking customers to information on energy saving programs, environmental stewardship, financial assistance, and much more.
PG&E currently posts Facebook messages in Spanish every Monday to help customers learn how to sign up for different energy efficiency programs, save energy and lower their energy bills.
These efforts reflect PG&E's longstanding commitment to reach its diverse customers in the communities where they work and live. Through advertising in Spanish language media, appearing at regional cultural events and working with local groups, the utility shares information on safety, cost savings and energy efficiency. The direct outreach not only helps critical information reach members of the community, but also provides economic benefits to a range of Hispanic-owned businesses and organizations.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE: PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com/espanol.
NOTE: B-roll video shows PG&E's new Spanish language energy statement and the utility's bill mailing and printing facilities.
SOURCE Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E)