As a renter or homeowner, your medical or income status may qualify you for financial assistance and/or discounts on your energy bills.
Maintaining an energy-efficient home can keep your family comfortable and save you money over time, but may be costly to implement up front. Renters and homeowners can qualify for programs like the ones below that provide financial assistance and discounts.
CARE: California Alternate Rates for Energy
The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program offers a monthly discount of 20% or more on natural gas bills and 30% or more on electric bills. Qualifications are based on the number of people living in your household and your total annual household income or by your household participation in certain public assistance programs.
Here are the public assistance programs that qualify:
- Medicaid/Medi-Cal for Families A & B
- CalFresh (Food Stamps) SNAP
- Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- Women, Infants, and Children (WIC)
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- CalWORKs (TANF) or Tribal TANF
Qualification is based on household size and total current household income.* If you don’t qualify for the CARE program, you could be eligible for the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program. This plan offers a lower discount on your monthly bill for families of three or more if your income is within the guidelines.
*Total income of all persons living in your house, condo, apartment or mobile home.
FERA: Family Electric Rate Assistance Program
Families whose household income slightly exceeds the CARE allowances may qualify to receive FERA discounts of 18% on their electricity bill. FERA is available for customers of Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric Company and Pacific Gas and Electric Company. More information can be found on your electric energy provider’s website.
Medical Baseline Allowance
The Medical Baseline Allowance program provides an additional amount of natural gas and/or electricity at the lowest rates for residential customers. The allowance is available for customers who rely on life support equipment, have a compromised immune system, life-threatening illness or any other condition for which additional heating or cooling is medically necessary to sustain the customer’s life or prevent deterioration of the customer’s medical condition.
A complete list of qualified devices can be found on your energy provider’s website.
Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESA)
The Energy Savings Assistance Program provides no-cost weatherization services and energy-efficient appliances to eligible renters and homeowners who receive electric or gas service from a California energy service provider through a residential meter. With the ESA Program, you can save money if you meet the income qualifications or already participate in a public assistance program. Check with participating service providers to find out if you qualify.