Utility Bill and Other Available Assistance Programs
During this difficult time, many households are facing income challenges and may need assistance managing utility bills. The low-income California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, which provides up to a 35 percent bill discount, and the Family Rate Assistance program, which provides an 18 percent discount, can reduce energy bills for qualified households. In addition, the California Lifeline program provides discounted home or cell phone service for qualified consumers.
Families who previously did not qualify for these discounts may now be able to take immediate action to reduce utility bills by calling their utility to enroll.
More information on these and other related consumer programs/initiatives are listed below:
- CARE/FERA Programs – Discounts on energy bills for income-qualified households (up to 35% bill discount with CARE and up to 18% bill discount with FERA).
- Medical Baseline – Extra allowances of energy billed at the lowest rate for customers who rely on life-support equipment.
- California Advanced Services Fund (CASF) – Grants for digital literacy training, broadband access in public housing developments, and more.
- California LifeLine Program – Discounted home phone and cell phone services to qualified households.
- California Teleconnect Fund (CTF) – Provides discounted communications services to schools, community colleges, libraries, government-owned hospitals and other non-profit organizations.
- Energy Saving Assistance Program (ESA) – provides no-cost weatherization services to low-income households who meet the CARE income guidelines.
- Self-Generation Incentive Program (SGIP) “Equity” and “Equity Resiliency” – Both categories aim to ensure lower-income, medically vulnerable, and at-risk for fire communities are at the front of the line to receive competitive incentives for battery storage.
- Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure Programs – Investments in electric vehicle charging infrastructure, with specific set-asides for disadvantaged communities.
- Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes (SASH) – Solar incentives on qualifying single-family affordable housing.
- Solar on Multifamily Affordable Housing (SOMAH) – Solar incentives on qualifying multifamily affordable housing.
- Green Tariff Shared Renewables – Small solar projects built in disadvantaged communities.
- Environmental and Social Justice Action Plan – Details and updates on our commitment to furthering principles of equity, inclusion, and justice across our entire portfolio of work.
- Disadvantaged Communities Advisory Group – Consisting of representatives from disadvantaged communities who provide advice on state programs proposed to achieve clean energy and pollution reduction.
- Low Income Oversight Board – Advises the Commission on low-income electric and gas customer issues and serves as a liaison for the Commission to low-income ratepayers and representatives.