By Bay City News Service
PG&E customers will be able to receive their bills in either Spanish or Chinese following a settlement last week by the California Public Utilities Commission.
The agreement reached by PG&E and approved by the CPUC on Thursday includes several provisions to make utility bills clearer and more understandable.
Advocates of the decision believe this is the first-ever settlement of this type, and will make utility bills more understandable for California's large population of Spanish and Chinese speakers.
The revised bills are expected to start appearing in the second half of this year, and PG&E will conduct outreach in Spanish and Chinese-speaking communities to let them know how to sign up for the new bills.
"According to U.S. Census data, one in five Californians speaks English less than well, and may have trouble understanding their utility bills as a result," Greenlining Institute legal counsel Enrique Gallardo said. "For many, that's finally going to change, and that is very good news."
The Greenlining Institute was one of several groups advocating the change, which also included The Utility Reform Network, the Division of Ratepayer Advocates and the Center for Accessible Technology.