written by Steve Rahmn – Block Captain / Area 4
As the rebuild efforts begin to take shape, many people have asked about how Pacific Gas and Electric is planning to address many issues impacting the rebuild efforts in Coffey Park. The following information was provided by their community involvement team in a presentation recently to Coffey Strong block captains.
Have you not received a bill yet? Currently PG&E is holding back bills while their accounting department continues to review accounts. This process takes time as it includes validation of lost homes and third party billing partners, such as Sonoma Clean Power. This includes your Coffey Park final billing and where you now reside. As soon as this review is complete, PG&E will be issuing bills. Please review your bill when you finally receive one.
If your bill has a balance exceeding $500.00, you will receive a proactive call from PG&E to discuss your bill in its whole. You may also contact them to arrange for a payment schedule that works for you. Regardless of the size of your bill you receive, PG&E will not take any credit action against fire victims, and will work with any customer on a payment plan.
Temporary Power for Construction
Currently PG&E has installed temporary power poles throughout Coffey Park. These have been strategically placed as to not impact new underground construction that will be required. These poles will also serve to provide temporary power for your contractor, support temporary street lighting and if you are fortunate to have your home rebuilt prior to permanent power, they will allow temporary connection to your home. They can also serve as a way to provide temporary phone and television service as well.
When a contractor needs temporary power to the site, they need to fill out an application, applying as a ‘new business for temporary power’ at https://www.pge.com/cco/. Since temporary power activation may take up to one month, apply for this service as soon as possible (if you check the box to note that it is fire related, they will expedite the service.) This applies to people who are interested in an RV connection as well. PG&E has agreed to waive the connection fees for this, however you or your contractor will be required to pay for the power used. The contractor will be required to provide a temporary power pole built to PG&E standards. At that time PG&E will place a meter.
Neighbors have requested installation of more street lights, since some streets in Coffey Park are too dark at night. This is being addressed and we report back once additional information is provided.
New Infrastructure for Utilities
Currently PG&E is working on the new underground utilities design. This is an extensive project that will be broken up into 5 phases. These phases 1-5 do not align with the Coffey Strong area map, but are all based on the efficient distribution of power to our neighborhood. Most utilities such as gas, electric, telephone, and cable are located under the sidewalks. This work will require sidewalks to be removed and replaced in certain areas. At this time it is unclear if the sidewalk replacement will fall on the responsibility of the City of Santa Rosa or PG&E.
Once the PG&E design is complete, they send their drawings to telephone and cable designers who will then add their scope. This usually takes 45 days, however, this will be expedited. There have been talks about including Sonic to the area, a matter still under negotiations.
Contractors will be responsible to provide conduits for PG&E, phone and television cables from the meter at the house to the street and sized by utility standards. These conduits are required to extend to the approximate area of where they were prior to the fire. PG&E will assist in defining this location. PG&E will extend these conduit to the service point and connect complete. There will be no cost for this.
PG&E has assumed all service to be 200 amps. If your home requires an increased service size or you are requesting multi-metering for an additional meter for a granny unit, that cost and arrangement for that service will be the responsibility of the customer.
Although the new PG&E standard requires all above-ground transformers, they have been provided a variance to continue to have in-ground transformers.
PG&E plans to begin construction late April/early May. Duration of construction is unknown at this time but we will provide this information as it becomes available.