CARE/FERA Programs

(Discounts on energy bills for income qualified households) 

California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)

Low-income customers that are enrolled in the CARE program receive a 30-35 percent discount on their electric bill and a 20 percent discount on their natural gas bill.

Eligible customers are those whose total household income is at or below the income limits indicated below.

Income limits are effective through May 31, 2017.

CARE Income Guidelines

CARE Income Guidelines* 

Household Size 

Income Eligibility Upper Limit 

1-2

$32,040

3

$40,320

4

$48,600

5

$56,880

6

$65,160

7

$73,460

8

$81,780

Each Additional Person

$8,320

* Effective June 1, 2016 to May 31, 2017


Customers may also be eligible for CARE if they are enrolled in public assistance programs such as Medicaid/Medi-Cal, Women, Infants and Children Program (WIC), Healthy Families A & B, National School Lunch’s Free Lunch Program (NSL), Food Stamps/SNAP, Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) or Tribal TANF.

To request an application form and more information, please contact your utility company or check out their websites for more information.  The utilities the Commission regulates are:  

 

Phone Numbers and Websites for Energy Assistance Programs
 

Utility  Emergency Payment   Website 
PG&E 866-743-2273 CARE 
Edison 866-675-6623 CARE 
SDG&E 800-411-7343 CARE 
SoCalGas 800-427-2200 CARE 
Alpine Nat'l Gas 209-772-3006  
Bear Valley Elect 800-808-2837 CARE 
PacifiCorp 888-221-7070 Financial Assistance 
Liberty Utilities 800-782-2506 CARE
Southwest Gas 877-860-6020 Special Programs 
West Coast Gas 916-364-4100  


Application forms also are available through numerous community agencies. CARE is funded through a rate surcharge paid by all other utility customers. These income limits may be adjusted each year depending on inflation.

California has a Low-Income Oversight Board (LIOB), which was established by the Legislature to advise the PUC on the energy low-income assistance programs of utilities under the PUC's jurisdiction.

 

Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA)

Families whose household income slightly exceeds the CARE allowances will qualify to receive FERA discounts, which bills applies a 12% discount on their electricity bill. FERA is available for customers of Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. Call your electric utility if your family qualifies.  Following are the income limits in effect from June1, 2015 to May 31, 2016:

 

FERA Income Guidelines

Household

200% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (CARE/ESAP) +1

250% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FERA)

3

$40,320

$50,225

4

$48,600

$60,625

5

$56,880

$71,025

6

$65,160

$81,425

7

$73,460

$91,825

8

$81,780

$102,225

Each Additional Person

$8,321

$10,400

 

Please contact your utility company for more information on this program and other assistance programs: