• 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 30-351 percent discount on their electric bill and a 20 percent discount on their natural gas bill.

    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  

       

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

    Income limits are effective through May 31, 2021.

    CARE Income Guidelines

    CARE Income Guidelines*

    Household Size

    Income Eligibility Upper Limit

    1-2

    $34,480

    3

    $43,440

    4

    $52,400

    5

    $61,360

    6

    $70,320

    7

    $79,280

    8

    $88,240

    Each Additional Person

    $8,960

    * Effective June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021


    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.

    1For the CARE Program, electrical corporations with 100,000 or more customer accounts in California offer a 30% - 35% discount as required by Public Utilities Code Section 739.1.  Electrical corporations with fewer than 100,000 customer accounts in California offer a 20% discount. 

    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 18% 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 effective through May 31, 2021:

    FERA Income Guidelines

    Household
     

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

    250% of Federal Poverty Guidelines (FERA)

    3

    $43,441

    $54,300

    4

    $52,401

    $65,500

    5

    $61,361

    $76,700

    6

    $70,321

    $87,900

    7

    $79,281

    $99,100

    8

    $88,241

    $110,300

    Each Additional Person

    $8,960

    $11,200

     

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