- Listed: December 17, 2018 2:55 am
- Expires: 998190 days, 14 hours
(Discounts on energy bills for income qualified households)
California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)
Low-income customers that are enrolled in the CARE program receive a 30-351 percent discount on their electric bill and a 20 percent discount on their natural gas bill.
Eligible customers are those whose total household income is at or below the income limits indicated below.
Income limits are effective through May 31, 2019.
CARE Income Guidelines*
Income Eligibility Upper Limit
|Each Additional Person||$8,640|
* Effective June 1, 2018 to May 31, 2019
Customers may also be eligible for CARE if they are enrolled in public assistance programs such as Medicaid/Medi-Cal, Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC), Healthy Families A & B, National School Lunch’s Free Lunch Program (NSL), Food Stamps/SNAP, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Tribal TANF.
1For the CARE Program, electrical corporations with 100,000 or more customer accounts in California offer a 30% – 35% discount as required by Public Utilities Code Section 739.1. Electrical corporations with fewer than 100,000 customer accounts in California offer a 20% discount.
To request an application form and more information, please contact your utility company or check out their websites for more information. The utilities the Commission regulates are:
Phone Numbers and Websites for Energy Assistance Programs
|Alpine Nat’l Gas||209-772-3006|
|Bear Valley Elect||800-808-2837||CARE|
|Southwest Gas||877-860-6020||Special Programs|
|West Coast Gas||916-364-4100|
Application forms also are available through numerous community agencies. CARE is funded through a rate surcharge paid by all other utility customers. These income limits may be adjusted each year depending on inflation.
California has a Low-Income Oversight Board (LIOB), which was established by the Legislature to advise the PUC on the energy low-income assistance programs of utilities under the PUC’s jurisdiction.
Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA)
Families whose household income slightly exceeds the CARE allowances will qualify to receive FERA discounts, which bills applies a 12% discount on their electricity bill. FERA is available for customers of Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Call your electric utility if your family qualifies. Following are the income limits in effect from June1, 2018 to May 31, 2019:
200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (CARE/ESAP)+1
|250% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FERA)|
Each Additional Person
Please contact your utility company for more information on this program and other assistance programs:
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