(KTSF by Michelle Yue)
The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) today approved a request from Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) to make bills available in Chinese or Spanish to customers who request them.
Spanish and Chinese are the top two non-English languages spoken in California.
The PUC consulted with a variety of community groups before making their decision.The Greenlining Institute in Berkeley, a non-profit organization for consumer rights of minorities, is one of the groups that the PUC consulted.
Greenlining General Counsel Samuel King says ”There are 200,000 people who live in PG&E’s customer service area who speak Chinese, but speak English either not so well or not at all. So what this decision does today is to allow PG&E to communicate with Chinese speaking customers better and vice versa .”
PG&E spokesperson Fiona Chan says that PG&E will now start to design the new Chinese and Spanish language bills. The company will also conduct community outreach to let people know about the language choice in bills .
Chan adds that the new bills in Chinese and Spanish will be available to customers next year at the earliest .
(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)