2020 Annual Affordability Report

2020 Annual Affordability Report (CPUC Press Release)

Areas of Affordability Concern

The areas of affordability concern (AAC) for each industry are the geographical areas where the AR20 scores are greater than the affordability demarcations. These demarcations represent the inflection points of the distribution of all AR20 scores across the state. The demarcations are 15% for essential electric and communications services, and 10% of essential gas and water services. The AACs are presented in census tract geography.  


Metrics Data and Interactive Maps

Below are the downloadable tabular files, interactive maps, and raw data work papers of the three metrics.

Affordability Ratio

The Affordability Ratio (AR) metric quantifies the percentage of a representative household’s income that would be used to pay for an essential utility service, after non-discretionary expenses such as housing and other essential utility service charges are deducted from the household’s income.  The higher an AR, the less affordable the utility service.  The AR may be calculated for a single essential utility service, a combination of services, or all essential utility services combined.


Hours at Minimum Wage

The Hours at Minimum Wage (HM) metric quantifies the hours of earned employment at the city minimum wage necessary for a household to pay for essential utility service charges. The minimum wage-based metric also implicitly considers the impact of essential utility service charges on lower-income customers regardless of the socioeconomic conditions of the community as a whole. 



The CalEnviroScreen (CES) metric represents a metric that is independent of utility bill data and is comprise of 21 population characteristics and pollution burden indicators. Each census tract has a composite CES score imputed from the 21 indicators, with higher scores representing communities that are more negatively impacted. California Environmental Protection Agency released a revised CES 4.0 in May 2022 which was used in this report. Click here  to learn more about CES. 

Additional Appendix Files for AAR

CalEnviroScreen Disdadvantaged Community 

The Affordability Proceeding adopted the CalEPA’s definition for disadvantaged communities. In May 2022, CalEPA released its updated designation of disadvantaged communities for the purpose of SB 535. CalEPA designated four categories of geographic areas as disadvantaged:

  1. Census tracts receiving the highest 25 percent of overall scores in CalEnviroScreen 4.0 (1,984 tracts).
  2. Census tracts lacking overall scores in CalEnviroScreen 4.0 due to data gaps, but receiving the highest 5 percent of CalEnviroScreen 4.0 cumulative pollution burden scores (19 tracts).
  3. Census tracts identified in the 2017 DAC designation as disadvantaged, regardless of their scores in CalEnviroScreen 4.0 (307 tracts).
  4. Lands under the control of federally recognized Tribes. For purposes of this designation, a Tribe may establish that a particular area of land is under its control even if not represented as such on CalEPA’s DAC map and therefore should be considered a DAC by requesting a consultation with the CalEPA Deputy Secretary for Environmental Justice, Tribal Affairs and Border Relations at TribalAffairs@calepa.ca.gov.

To learn more about disadvantaged communities, please visit the SB 535 website located here

Affordability Ratio Calculator

The Affordability Ratio Calculator (ARC) is an annually updated Excel-based calculator that will be pre-populated with the values needed to calculate the Affordability Ratio (AR) for representative households at the 20th and 50th percentiles of the income distribution within each PUMA based on the most recently available socioeconomic, essential usage/service bill, and forecast data.

2020 Affordability Ratio Calculator (ARC) - please note that this is a very large Excel file. It is highly recommended that you save this file to your hard drive (right-click and save) and open it from there.