Saturday, December 30, 2006

Now free statements offered in braille

Monthly energy bills in Braille are now available to all visually-impaired customers for free, Pacific Gas and Electric Co. officials announced. "It makes me feel more independent," said Josephine Beach of Santa Maria, who plans to call and request the service. Beach, who was born blind, lives with husband Tom, who has congenital glaucoma.

The Braille bill will allow Beach to feel more secure, and avoid situations such as the time a caregiver didn't tell Beach about a late notice and the gas was nearly shut off.

"We get our telephone bill and our bank statement like that too," said Beach, 48. "Until I get the electric bill (in Braille) I have to have someone read it to me."

The Braille bill is designed as a supplement to the regular print bill, and does not include late notices or other legally-mandated announcements.

The bill includes the billing date, payment amount, and information about energy use. The bill also compares the current month's usage to the previous month. To sign up, call 866-743-5000.


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