New income guidelines can save qualified SCE customers money on their electricity bill.
By Susan Cox
There’s good news for Southern California Edison customers with limited incomes who need help keeping the lights on.
Effective June 1, the California Public Utilities Commission – Opens in new window announced new 2019-2020 income-qualified guidelines for three financial assistance programs: California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE), Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) – Opens in new window and Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) – Opens in new window.
The income changes mean more SCE customers may be eligible to receive program discounts of up to 30% on their monthly electric bill.
“These financial assistance programs support those who need help paying their electricity bill,” said Eugene Ayuyao, senior manager, SCE Customer Programs and Services. “SCE wants to make sure its eligible customers are aware of the updated income guidelines for these discount programs and encourage them to apply so they can save money on their monthly bill and meet their energy needs.”
The CARE program provides SCE income-qualified customers a discount of about 30% on their monthly electric bill. The FERA program gives an 18% reduction on monthly electric bills to qualified households of three or more.
About one-third of SCE’s residential customers are enrolled in income-qualified programs that offer bill discounts and free energy-efficiency products and services.
Under the ESA program, eligible customers may qualify for free energy-efficiency products and services, which may include a new energy-efficient replacement refrigerator, lightbulbs and other energy-savings appliances or energy conservation services to help them save money on their SCE electric bill.
Eligibility for financial assistance programs is based on annual household income and the number of people in a household. Customers on limited incomes, or those who participate in government assistance programs, are encouraged to apply.
SCE does not inquire about the citizenship or legal status of customers in the provision of services, does not share customer information with outside groups or agencies without the customer’s consent and does not require proof of residency for customers to participate in customer assistance programs.
Customers who are not eligible for income-qualified programs can work with SCE staff on payment arrangements that could spread out their payments and help during difficult times.
Here are the new income guidelines, effective June 1 to May 31, 2020: