Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) continues to provide financial grants to fund the operation of existing county- or city-run cooling centers. The centers provide a safe, comfortable location with air conditioning for those who need it. Many organizations are updating and modifying their approach to cooling centers this year to take into account the impacts of COVID-19 and the need to physically distance and/or wear masks or personal protective equipment (PPE).
PG&E has long-supported cooling centers in locations in its service area where summer temperatures typically reach triple digits. These centers help fill a critical need for those who might not have the financial means to cool and shelter themselves from dangerous and prolonged temperatures.
PG&E is providing grants to the cities of Arvin, Fowler, Fresno, Madera, San Jose, Sanger and Stockton as well as to the Kern County Aging and Adult Services, Kern County Parks and Recreation and the Merced County Office of Emergency Services. The more than $80,000 in total grants help ensure customers have a safe, cool place to escape the heat and an opportunity to save on energy bills.
"Cooling centers are a critical resource for customers during the summer months, particularly those among the at-risk populations, like seniors. Safety precautions are being implemented to further protect visitors including enhanced cleaning and disinfecting amid the coronavirus pandemic," said Laurie Giammona, PG&E Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer.
The grants can be used to purchase PPE as well as hand sanitizer and masks to enhance safety at the centers, among other items. Visitors and staff at the cooling centers may be encouraged or required to wear face coverings, practice social distancing, and conduct a health screening before entering. The use of some recreational equipment and games may be restricted depending on the location of the center.
Cooling centers will be open to the public when the temperatures are forecast by the National Weather Service to exceed thresholds set by each area.
PG&E began funding cooling centers as part of a pilot project in 2007 following a 2006 heat wave in the state.
Since 2007, PG&E has provided more than $500,000 to support established cooling centers, most located in local government-run senior centers or neighborhood parks and recreation centers.
To find a Cooling Center near you, please call your local city or county government, or call PG&E's toll-free Cooling Center locator line at 1-877-474-3266 or visit pge.com/coolingcenters.
PG&E is interested in funding the operation of more local Cooling Centers throughout our service area. For more information please contact PG&E at CoolingCenters@pge.com.
PG&E Tips to Stay Safe and Cool
- Plan ahead: Check the weather forecast to prepare for hot days.
- Keep an emergency contact list: Keep a list of emergency phone numbers.
- Have a buddy system: During a heat wave, check in on elderly or frail people.
- Stay hydrated:Drink plenty of water, even when you are not thirsty.
- Stay cool:Take a cool shower or bath and wear lightweight, loose, light-colored clothing.
- Stay safe:Stay out of direct sunlight and avoid alcoholic or caffeinated beverages.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (PCG) - Get Report, is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 23,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation's cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.
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