Pacific Gas & Electric Company (PG&E) offers several programs 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.
PG&E offers numerous programs that enable many 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.
PG&E encourages qualified customers to take advantage of the following programs:
- Generator Rebate Program. 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.
- Applies to qualifying purchases made from January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021.
- Customers can apply for the rebate here.
- 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 the need.
- 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 here about whether they qualify for the program.
- 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.
- 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 here.