Coronavirus – COVID-19 Information

California COVID-19 Website

Utility Protections for Customers

Fact Sheet: How is the CPUC Helping Consumers and Businesses Impacted by COVID-19?

In these unsettling and unprecedented times, many people are concerned about the health and safety of themselves and their loved ones.

On this webpage you will find information on what the CPUC and utilities under its jurisdiction are doing to support communities during these challenging times.

 

CPUC Actions

As Californians are sheltering at home, residential electric usage has increased 15 to 20 percent in recent weeks compared to the same period last year. The CPUC is taking action to ensure that this does not become an added hardship for people who have lost their jobs or are otherwise suffering economically due to COVID-19. A summary of these actions include:

  • Reducing residential and business energy bills over the coming months by utilizing the California Climate Credit. More information here: www.cpuc.ca.gov/ClimateCredit
  • Suspending renewal requirements for key low-income programs, including California LifeLine, California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE), and Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA). More information here: https://bit.ly/3ehiaZq
  • Educating the public on tips for reducing energy usage via Energy Upgrade California marketing platform. For more information: www.energyupgradeca.org
  • For San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) customers, the CPUC has eliminated a summer rate increase, delayed an increase on small business gas bills, and proposed changes to High Use Charges.

Other CPUC Actions

  • May 7, 2020: Free and affordable Internet access and devices are crucial for low income students as they transition to learning from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. To help bridge this divide, the CPUC approved a partnership with the Department of Education to fund $5 million in devices for students in need. This partnership was previously announced by the Governor on April 20th.
  • May 7, 2020: The CPUC temporarily modified rates for high energy use customers to minimize the impacts of electricity bills in the summer related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Read More
  • March 23, 2020: Sent a letter from CPUC Executive Director to IOUs requiring them to offer a 30-day advanced payment to ESA Contractors to help sustain the ESA workforce during work stoppage. 
    • April 7, 2020: Sent a letter from CPUC Executive Director to IOUs extending the advance payment program to 60-days and making further clarifications regarding assistance to ESA Contractors during the work stoppage. 
    • April 23, 2020: Published Draft Resolution E-5047, ratifying the March 23, 2020 and the April 7, 2020 letters, sent by the Executive Director of the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to Investor Owned Utilities (IOUs) to offer a 60-day advance payment to Energy Savings Assistance Program Contractors and recommending further actions.

 

Utility Business Continuity Plans

Energy

 

Utility Webpages

Please visit our Utility Consumer Protections page for a list of utilities and how they are assisting customers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

Utility Planned Outages

 

More Resources

 

Small Businesses

 

U.S. Small Business Administation (SBA) Resources


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