Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information
Find information on what the CPUC and utilities under its jurisdiction are doing to support communities during these challenging times.
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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 reduced the seasonal differential from residential default time-of-use rates in order to help reduce summer bills.
- Dec. 2020: Mitigating Rate Impacts for Consumers Fact Sheet
- The federal Emergency Broadband Benefit can help you pay for your broadband internet costs. You can apply beginning on May 12, 2021.
Other CPUC Actions
- July 14, 2021: CPUC Executive Director Letter Extending Moratorium on Disconnection for Non-Payment and Fees for Late Payment for Voice Service through September 30, 2021
- June 24, 2021: CPUC Provides Relief for Customers Who Have Energy Bill Debt (CPUC Press Release)
- June 30, 2021: Emergency Customer Protections expire. Utilities resume the issuance of late payment notifications to customers and collection activities. Utilities will continue to provide assistance programs.
- April 30, 2021: CPUC Approves Emergency Utility Customer Protection Transition Plans. In accordance with the approved plans, utilities are communicating with customers about imminent protection expiration, providing support to customers transitioning off of customer protections, and helping customers enroll in applicable assistance programs.
- Final Transition Plan Advice Letters available on https://liob.cpuc.ca.gov/m-4849-utility-transition-plans/
- April 15, 2021: Executive Director Letter to IOUs on Direction to Conduct Customer Data Validation for Emergency Rental Assistance Program
- April 1, 2021: Electric, gas, and water utilities submit final Emergency Utility Customer Protection Transition Plan Advice Letters to CPUC.
- March 24, 2021: Executive Director Letter Extending Moratorium on Disconnection for Non-Payment and Fees for Late Payment for Voice Service (Resolution M-4848) Through July 15, 2021
- Feb. 11, 2021:CPUC Extends Emergency Utility Customer Protections and Takes Further Action To Address Energy Arrearages During COVID-19
- Final Resolution M-4849 approved.
- By February 25, 2021, IOUs shall submit drafts of Transition Plan Advice Letters to CPUC staff (Gillian.Weaver@cpuc.ca.gov), who will share them with the LIOB and post them publicly on the LIOB website (liob.org). At the first quarterly LIOB meeting of 2021 (tentatively scheduled for March 11, 2021), electric, gas, and water utility staff shall prepare to present the draft transition plans during the LIOB meeting.
- Jan. 15, 2021: Draft Resolution M-4849 will be on the CPUC’s Feb. 11, 2021 Voting Meeting agenda to approve an extension on emergency customer protections through June 30, 2021.
- Fact Sheet on Draft Resolution M-4849
- Jan. 29, 2021:
- Jan. 22, 2021: Comments on Draft Resolution M-4849
- Dec. 17, 2020: CPUC Implements Consumer Protections to Assist Residential and Small Business Customers
- Nov. 20, 2020: Draft Resolution M-4848 will be on the CPUC’s Dec. 17, 2020 Voting Meeting agenda to approve a moratorium on disconnection for non-payment and late payment fees for telephone service during the Governor’s declared State of Emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- November 12, 2020: The CPUC will hold a Workshop on COVID-19 Impacts on Customers in the Energy Sector.
- November 2, 2020: President Batjer Letter to AT&T regarding Legacy DSL Services Retirement
- October 30, 2020: The CPUC held a Joint Workshop on Water Affordability During COVID-19 (R.17-06-024).
- June 17, 2020: The CPUC presented its COVID-19 response.
- May 21, 2020: CPUC Letter to Program Administrators on Guidance on Energy Efficiency and Energy Savings Assistance Program Suspensions
- 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
- April 24, 2020: CPUC Letter to ISPs on Affordable Broadband Plans to Support Customers Affected by the COVID-19 State of Emergency
- April 23, 2020: CPUC held a workshop on Impacts of COVID-19 on Customer-Oriented Clean Energy Program. More Info
- April 20, 2020: CPUC response letter that delays an already scheduled natural gas rate increase for Southern California Gas Company and SDG&E small business customers for 120 days to help reduce natural gas bills during the crisis.
- April 17, 2020: CPUC finalized Resolution M-4842.
- April 3, 2020: SoCalGas Request for Extension of Time to Comply with Ordering Paragraphs of Triennial Cost Allocation Proceeding for Small Business Customers in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
- April 3, 2020: CPUC Works to Help Mitigate Higher Energy Bills Utility Customers May Receive Due to Shelter at Home
- March 30, 2020: CPUC Letter to All County Executive Officers re: Essential Wildfire and PSPS Mitigation Work
- March 27, 2020: Joint Letters to IOUs re: Essential Wildfire and PSPS Mitigation Work
- March 26, 2020: CPUC Letter to Class C, D Water and Sewer Utilities on Emergency Customer Protections to Support Customers Affected by the COVID-19 State of Emergency
- 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.
- March 23, 2020: Executive Director's Letter to Wireless Providers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs)
- March 20, 2020: Business Continuity and COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Response Plans
- March 20, 2020: CPUC Suspends Renewal Requirements for Low Income Energy and Telco Programs to Assist Customers During COVID-19 Epidemic
- March 18, 2020: Practitioner Alert: COVID-19 Temporary Filing and Service Protocol
- March 20, 2020: The CPUC has temporarily waived the hard copy filing requirements for our Advice Letter process. CPUC Industry Divisions will accept the submittal of Advice Letters and related documents by electronic mail.
- CPUC Public Meetings During COVID-19 Pandemic
- March 17, 2020: CPUC Ensures Essential Utility Services for Consumers to Assist in COVID-19 Mitigation
- April 3, 2020: Draft Resolution Ratifying the Executive Director’s March 17 Letter; will be on April 16 Voting Meeting Agenda
- March 13, 2020: Cancelled - CPUC Public Forums on SCE Rate Requests
Utility Business Continuity Plans and PSPS Preparation
- Bear Valley Electric Service
- Liberty Utilities
- Southwest Gas
- West Coast Gas
Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) Preparation Plans
The electric utilities are responsible for operating their systems, including the decision to conduct a Public Safety Power Shutoff as a last resort. The CPUC’s oversight consists of ensuring that the utilities are clear about the rules they must adhere to, monitoring the utilities’ preparation, and evaluating their implementation.
Links to the 2020 briefing decks presented to CPUC and CAL FIRE can be found on the utility websites below. PG&E is submitting separate biweekly corrective action progress reports that can be found on the docket card of the CPUC’s Public Safety Power Shutoff rulemaking.
Small Business Resources
U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Resources
Small businesses and nonprofits can apply for SBA disaster assistance programs online or seek assistance from SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-569-2955/1-800-877-8339 (TTY). For more information, please visit https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.
For more information, please contact
News and Outreach Office
California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102