Enrollment in Monthly Energy Discount Program Tripled in April Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. —Tens of thousands of income-eligible customers have applied to save 20 percent on their monthly energy bill by enrolling in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. The CARE program provides income-qualified households with discounts on their energy bills.
More than 60,000 customers enrolled in the program in the month of April, triple the typical monthly enrollment. Since the start of the year, more than 125,000 customers have enrolled in CARE. PG&E forecasts that more than 1.6 million PG&E customers will be enrolled in the program by the end of 2020, compared to the 1.46 million currently enrolled.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had an immediate and significant financial impact on many of our communities across the state. We want our customers to know that we are here to help, and we have programs as well as tools to assist them with their energy usage and bills. Making sure that those who are now eligible for the CARE discount are aware of the program is one way we are providing support,” said Laurie Giammona, PG&E Senior Vice President and Chief Customer Officer.
Qualified customers can apply for CARE online. The process is easy and only takes about five minutes. Eligible customers will begin receiving the CARE program discount during their next billing cycle, and those who recently applied for unemployment benefits are likely now eligible.
Every year, the California Public Utilities Commission adjusts the maximum qualifying income levels for CARE to reflect changes in the federal poverty guidelines. CARE is funded through a rate surcharge paid by all utility customers.
|CARE Income Guidelines*|
|Household Size||Income Eligibility Upper Limit|
|Each additional person||$8,960|
* Effective June 1, 2020 to May 31, 2021
CARE has helped PG&E customers save more than $10 billion on their energy bills through the program since 1989. To learn more about the CARE Program, visit www.pge.com/care.
Separate from CARE, income-qualified households with three or more persons can apply for the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program for an 18 percent discount on electric bills.
For more information, please visit http://www.pge.com/covid19 to read more about PG&E’s response to the virus.
Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric energy companies in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with more than 24,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to nearly 16 million people in Northern and Central California. For more information, visit pge.com and pge.com/news.