What are CARE and medical baseline?


California Alternative Rates for Energy or CARE is a program established by the California Legislature in 1988* to provide financial assistance to the California utilities' low-income residential gas and electric customers to help them afford essential utility services. In 1993, the program was also expanded to 'eligible facilities' where low income ratepayers are located, this program is colloquially called 'Expanded CARE.'

CARE provides a discount of between 30-35% off a customer's total bill, subject to eligibility requirements. The range of the CARE discount is set by the California Legislature. Funding for CARE is collected on an equal cents/kWh basis from all customer classes except street lighting.


Medical Baseline

Medical baseline was established in the same Baseline Act of 1976 which authorized baseline for all customers. The act directed the Commission to provide larger quantities of power at the baseline rate to residential customers who have special medical needs and/or are dependent on life-support equipment. A list of conditions and devices are specified in statute.

For more information on eligibility for CARE and medical baseline as well as monthly reports on these programs, use the following link:


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