October 25, 2007

 ROSEMEAD, Calif., Oct. 25, 2007—Southern California Edison (SCE) today announced a special relief program to cover unbilled electricity usage for residential customers whose homes were destroyed or are uninhabitable due to this week’s devastating wildfires. Those customers will not have to pay for electricity used since the last bill they received at those damaged residences. 

 Qualifying residential customers are encouraged to contact SCE toll-free at (800) 250-7339. For other customers facing financial hardship as a result of the fires, SCE offers special payment arrangements. They should contact SCE at (800) 950-2356.

“We feel great sympathy for people who have lost their homes or for those whose homes are uninhabitable as a result of the horrible, tragic wildfires,” said Lynda Ziegler, senior vice president of the Customer Service Business Unit. “We hope not having to worry about electricity bills alleviates a small burden from our customers during these unfortunate times.”

 Meanwhile, SCE crews and support personnel — more than 800 strong — continue their round-the-clock efforts making repairs and restoring service to areas ravaged by the wildfires.  Responding to hundreds of locations with wires down, SCE crews are working to replace hundreds of power poles damaged or downed by the fires. 

  “We’ll continue to restore service in damaged areas as quickly as we can,” said Ron Litzinger, SCE senior vice president, Transmission and Distribution Business Unit. “We want to thank our customers for their patience during this emergency situation, but we also want to caution them that certain fire areas — because of terrain, access problems and the continuing wildfires — could be without power for days or even weeks in mountainous areas.”

To better deal with any power outage, SCE advises customers to:

  • Check on the medical needs of family and neighbors.
  • Use flashlights. Don’t use candles, which can start fires.
  • Keep battery-powered radio with fresh batteries to stay informed.
  • Maintain at least three-quarters of a tank of gasoline in your vehicle(s). Gas station pumps do not operate during power outages.
  • Have alternate, back-up arrangements in place to keep perishable food chilled and fresh in the event of prolonged outages. Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible during an outage. A well-filled, unopened freezer will keep food frozen for hours without electricity.
  • Never connect a portable generator directly to a power line. State law requires that customers inform SCE when a generator is being used at a home or business. Call SCE at (800) 655-4555.
  • Never touch a power line suspended in the air or lying on the ground.

For more information, visit SCE’s Web site at www.sce.com.

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An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is the largest electric utility in California, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.