THE DISABLED AND PACIFIC
GAS & ELECTRIC
past spring most Californians experienced at least one rolling blackout.
We might be experiencing another one this weekend, as the temperature
rises day by day. This is the price we pay for living in California.
We have problems most other states don't have.
This year the gas and
electric bills have doubled and some tripled all over the state. PG &
E has shipped-in power from out of state and handed the costs over to the
Yes, if you’re able-bodied you can live without these things for about ninety minutes.
Most of us just take it in
stride, but most of the disabled need greater measures to get over the 90
minutes of being powerless. We cannot can survive without any power for
ninety additional minutes.
Now if you are disabled
and lying down in an iron lung that helps you take your every breath,
because your body can't do that for you, those ninety minutes could be
your death sentence.
Pacific Gas and Electric current policy is to give disabled residents a two hour notice to move or find a place that has the equipment to help them before the blackout occurs. They will not help move or assist disabled people to get to these places.
PG&E has stated in the
past that there will be more rolling blackouts this summer. That means
disabled residents have to look at the news and listen to the radio each
morning to see if they have to make arrangements for their lives.
PG & E will not be calling them; they stated that if the disabled
resident looks on the bill it will tell him which block will be out the
affected day. Each morning the disabled person has to question what
he/she will have to do, with only a two-hour margin of error.
Next is the issue of the
disabled paying their bills. How will disabled people
PG&E helps slightly
with their CARE (California Alternative Rate for Energy) discount rate.
You can call PG& E at 1-800-743-5000 for more information of this
program. This will not be enough when the April and May increases come in.
A lot of disabled people use heat and cooling to keep their bodies from overheating or freezing.
They have limited controls of their body temperature. Disabled folk use
more energy just to survive; it's going to cost them more. Something
disabled people do not have enough to pay their bills.
PG & E stated that you could call the state assistance program, which is called HEAP. Each county has its own HEAP number to call to get more information. If you or any of your friends are having any problems during this time, please call them and they will help you. This state program will pay one month's energy bill for that disabled person. Or you can call your local:
Salvation Army for the REACH