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CA Utility Makes Effort to Assist Low Income Households During Pandemic

May 8, 2020 – Many utilities across the country are making changes to their program operations to accommodate low-income households during the pandemic. One common change among them are the changes to the moratoriums; however, utilities such as such as California’s San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) are changing additional aspects of their program operations to further assist low-income households during this time.

SDG&E is not offering direct discounts, but are assisting customers in applying for energy assistance programs, including the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Another program SDG&E is assisting customers in applying for is the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, which offers a 30% discount on utility bills to qualifying households.

In addition to waiving all late fees, SDG&E has promised not disconnect utilities due to nonpayment and is offering flexible payment plans for customers who are in need of payment installments. Customers can also now apply online for each program.

“Due to the pandemic, the restrictions on these bill assistance programs have been eased so that more people can take advantage of the assistance they need during these challenging times,” said SDG&E Communications Manager Sara Prince, “Times are tough right now, and people are struggling everywhere, we understand that."

To learn more about changes occurring among utilities (specifically, moratoriums) due to the pandemic, visit the LIHEAP Clearinghouse’s State Disconnection Policies web page—which offers a live link to up-to-date changes regarding moratorium regulations provided by the Energy and Policy Institute.

For a full list of programs and additional details, visit the SDG&E web site.

Source: media reports