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California Public Benefit Funds for Rate Assistance

California Public Benefit Funds for Rate Assistance

  • California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) began in 1989 as result of state legislation. On June 7, 2001, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) raised the amount of the CARE discount from its historic level of 15 percent to 20 percent, and increased income eligibility levels from 150 percent of federal poverty guidelines to 175 percent for all regulated utilities. In October 2005, eligibility limits were expanded to 200 percent. At the beginning of 2001, CARE spending by the four largest utilities totaled about $126 million; by the end of 2010 it amounted to nearly $1.2 billion, with over 4.8 million customers receiving gas and electric bill discounts. See electric utility restructuring legislation.
  • Additionally some municipal utilities have discount programs for low-income and seniors.

Note: Leveraging reports do not always give a complete statewide picture. Some resources are not reported through leveraging or are under reported.


2010: $1,182 million
2009: $866.8 million
2007: $761.1 million
2006: $793.4 million
2005: $529.5 million
2004: $453 million
2003: $327 million
2002: $246.1 million
2001: $174.3 million


California Public Utilities Code, sec. 739.1-739.2