Company Encourages Customers Impacted by COVID-19 to Take Advantage of 30% Bill Savings and Other Available Assistance
With the coronavirus pandemic causing financial hardships for many individuals and families in the region, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) is encouraging those in need to apply online for bill discount programs, which can save them 30 percent or more off their monthly utility bill.
SDG&E offers bill discount programs to support customers year-round. Many people who previously could not take advantage of these income-based programs may now be able to do so due to lost wages. Those who recently lost their job, even if they are receiving unemployment benefits, may also be eligible for CARE and FERA.
California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE): Provides a 30 percent or more discount on monthly bills. Qualification is based on participation in certain public assistance programs or household income as of today. No additional documents are required to apply.
Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA): If a customer doesn’t qualify for CARE, they may qualify for FERA, which provides income-qualified households of three or more with a reduced electric rate (18 percent discount) on their monthly bill.
In order to raise awareness on these programs, SDG&E launched a robust marketing and public outreach campaign, which will also promote LIHEAP or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.
LIHEAP is federally funded and helps low-income households with their energy bills. The program is overseen by the California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD) and administered by nonprofit agencies that have funding available right now to help residents with up to $1,000 on their energy bills. Additional funding is also expected with the recent passage of the federal economic stimulus package. To learn more, dial 2-1-1 for LIHEAP income guidelines and participating agencies.
Starting in mid-March, SDG&E voluntarily began to suspend service disconnections due to nonpayment. The disconnection moratorium will remain in place until further notice. At the same time, the company is urging customers who are struggling to pay their utility bill to call its Customer Contact Center at 1-800-411-7343 to make payment arrangements.
SDG&E is also temporarily waiving late payment fees for business customers whose finances have been devastated by the coronavirus. The company does not charge residential customers late payment fees.
In addition to bill discount programs, SDG&E wants customers to know that there are a variety of local charitable initiatives aimed at addressing needs that have arisen in the region due to the coronavirus crisis. These initiatives provide impacted residents with assistance for other emerging needs and links to these agencies can be found on SDG&E’s website.
As the coronavirus pandemic is rapidly evolving, please visit sdge.com/coronavirus for updates.