Interfaith leaders allege PGW left people without heat

Barnes said as soon as PGW is notified that a customer has been approved for a LIHEAP grant, the utility contacts the customer to schedule a service restoration time — during which the customer must be at home.

“Our goal is always to provide service regardless of the season, but especially during the winter,” Barnes said.

Ballenger and POWER members want a guarantee from PGW that the utility will not delay reconnection for LIHEAP crisis grant recipients.

“Really, we’re focused on what’s going to happen in the coming months when PGW starts sending out termination notices again,” Ballenger said.

Supporters also want more answers from PGW on the status of utility cuts. POWER member Linda Clark cites public utility commission report showing that by December last year, PGW customers had experienced 15,000 disconnections, but just over 10,000 reconnections.

“What became of those [roughly 5,000] folks?” Clark asked. “Did they make a lot more money and be able to afford their heat again, or what happened? We don’t know, and we think PGW should give us those numbers. and explain what is happening.

Council member Helen Gym, who attended Thursday’s vigil, said her office was in touch with PGW about the matter and those conversations were “still evolving.” She echoed calls from advocates for more transparency.

“It’s an important question, and I think PGW could easily clarify the situation,” she said. “So we urge them to do so.”

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