The Utility Reform Network
Home Consumer Tools Energy Tips Don't Hesitate to Negotiate

Can't Pay Your Bill? Don't Hesitate to Negotiate

How to negotiate a lower bill or fair payment plan with your utility company

If you are having a hard time paying your electric or gas bill, contact your utility company now. TURN has tips on how to negotiate a lower bill or fair payment plan with your utility company.

Many customers are afraid to contact their utility if they are having a hard time keeping up with their bills or if they have received a shut-off notice. This is a mistake. If you are having a hard time paying your electric or gas bill, the best thing to do is to contact your utility company right away.

The utilities are required to allow partial payment arrangements for customers who can pay part of their balance each month and have not defaulted on a payment plan before. Payment plans usually extend over a period of no more than 12 months.

Remember that when you agree to an installment plan and miss a payment, the entire amount you owe immediately becomes due and service may be terminated after 48 hours notice. However, if there was a change in circumstances (job loss, illness, etc.) you may be able to argue that a revised plan is necessary.

It's your responsibility to contact the utility to request payment arrangements—don't be afraid to ask!



Share Article:
Avoid Shut-Offs—Don't Hesitate to Negotiate

Avoid Shut-Offs—Don't Hesitate to Negotiate

Is your electricity or gas going to be shut off? Step 1. Call your utility company. PG&E, SDG&E, SoCal Gas and SoCal Edison...

Read more
How the Baseline Program Works

How the Baseline Program Works

Conserve and Save: Tiered Electric Rates Are Good for the Pocket and the Planet

Read more