SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Pacific Gas and Electric will soon start sending out bills printed in Spanish or Chinese to customers who request it as part of a settlement reached with several consumer advocacy groups.

Eliminating the language barrier would make it easier for many households to understand energy savings technology such as SmartMeters, said attorney Stephanie Chen, legal counsel the Greenlining Institute, one of the parties involved in the settlement.

“With the advent of the smart grid and SmartMeters, customers are going to be asked to be more proactive, more involved, more savvy energy consumers,” she said.

Census data show more than 1 million native Spanish speakers and 200,000 native Chinese speakers in Northern California.

Chen said PG&E would be reaching out to customers over the next few months with information about how to request a non-English language bill.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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