CUSTOMER ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS
2012 FACT SHEET
BACKGROUND
San Diego Gas & Electric’s (SDG&E) Customer Assistance Programs provide
support to more than 300,000 customers in San Diego and southern Orange
counties. The programs help customers who are having a difficult time paying their
bills; customers with medical conditions that require high-energy equipment; and
low-income customers who want to install energy efficiency upgrades in their
homes.
Customer Assistance Programs are implemented with oversight from the California
Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).
Applications and more information can be found at sdge.com/assistance.
CALIFORNIA ALTERNATE
RATES FOR ENERGY (CARE)
PROGRAM
California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) is a low income, ratepayer
assistance program that provides customers with household incomes at or below
200 percent of federal poverty guidelines with a monthly savings of up to 35
percent on their SDG&E bill.
Household size
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Each additional
person
Maximum allowable household
income to qualify for CARE
$22,340
$30,260
$38,180
$46,100
$54,020
$61,940
$69,860
$77,780
Add $7,920
CARE customers are exempt from two utility bill surcharges: the CARE portion of
the Public Purpose Programs surcharge and the California Solar Initiative
surcharge.
308,000 SDG&E customers are enrolled in CARE as of January 1, 2012.
ENERGY SAVINGS
ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
(ESAP)
The Energy Savings Assistance Program provides free energy efficiency
upgrades to customers who meet the CARE household income guidelines – or who
participate in certain public assistance programs. Upgrades make homes more
comfortable and secure and include door and window weatherization, attic
insulation, energy efficient appliances, low-flow showerheads and water heater
blankets. Since its inception in 1990, the program has provided energy efficiency
upgrades to more than 220,000 customers.
FAMILY ELECTRIC RATE
ASSISTANCE (FERA)
PROGRAM
FERA allows families whose household income slightly exceeds CARE limits to be
billed at the lower Tier 2 rate for electric usage that would normally be billed at the
higher Tier 3 rate. Eligible customers are those with three or more people in their
household and income levels between 200 and 250 percent of federal poverty
guidelines. 5,000 SDG&E customers are enrolled in FERA as of January 1, 2012.
MEDICAL BASELINE
ALLOWANCE PROGRAM
The Medical Baseline Allowance Program ensures that extra allowances of
natural gas and electricity are billed at the lowest rate for customers who rely on
life support equipment or need heating or air conditioning due to medical conditions.
More than 23,000 customers are enrolled in the Medical Baseline Allowance
Program.
FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
SDG&E offers payment plans for customers who are having difficulty paying their
bill. Additionally, federal assistance programs include Low-Income Home Energy
Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which offers financial aid for SDG&E bills and
weatherization services; and the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund which provides
customers experiencing temporary financial hardship with up to $200 towards their
SDG&E bill.
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CustomerAssistanceProgramsFactSheet