CHA News

Medical Certification Needed for Medical Baseline Programs

In 2020, the major power utilities in California waived the requirement for medical practitioners to certify a patient’s request to enroll in their medical baseline programs. However, this temporary waiver allowing customers to self-certify their eligibility to enroll ended on June 30, and a signature from a qualified medical practitioner is now required. 

These programs enable patients who depend on power for certain medical conditions and independent living needs to lower energy rates and, most importantly, to receive advance notice of public safety power shutoffs to their residence.  

With the dry weather conditions and a potentially windy summer and fall on tap, it is anticipated that power shutoffs will be top of mind for many of the most vulnerable patients. CHA encourages hospitals to:  

  1. Promote this program to patients who may be eligible 
  2. Be prepared to have medical practitioners sign off on these requests 

To assist hospitals, CHA — in partnership with Pacific Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison — has prepared an on-demand recording that explains more about the medical baseline programs and details the support and resources available from the utility companies. 

While the program is similar across power utilities, the forms and processes are unique and can be accessed via each company’s site:  

In addition to the resources available through the medical baseline programs, utilities are partnering with agencies such as the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers and 2-1-1 to support patients during outages by way of emergency planning support, access to power/resources according to need, and Disability Disaster Access & Resource Centers.  

Contact the utilities directly to learn more about the programs, forms, and resources available:  

  • Pacific Gas & Electric: Deirdre Walke, [email protected] or (530) 306-4741 
  • San Diego Gas & Electric: Nhu Tran, [email protected] or (619) 676-9103 
  • Southern California Edison: Customer Service, (800) 655-4555 
  • Southern California Gas: Jennifer Ward, [email protected] 

Please forward this to anyone supporting at-home patient needs or who may be asked to complete certifications for patients applying for the program.