More Low-Income SDG&E Customers Eligible for Bill-Assistance Programs
Increased Income Guidelines Expand Eligibility

SAN DIEGO, June 1, 2011  Today, more customers may be eligible to save up to 35 percent on their San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) bills or qualify for no-cost energy-saving home improvements, due to new income guidelines that went into effect today for income qualified customers who in enroll in the money-saving, state-sponsored California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program and Energy Savings Assistance Program.


"Our goal is to help enroll as many eligible customers in our assistance programs as possible, so that they can benefit from the savings on their energy bill – especially during these challenging economic times," said Hal D. Snyder, vice president of customer solutions for SDG&E.  "Through our partnerships with community groups and other outreach efforts, we hope all of our customers are aware of the many kinds of assistance available to lessen their hardship."

Customers who enroll in the CARE program may qualify for a discount of up to 35 percent on their SDG&E bill.  Eligible customers may qualify one of two ways: through their enrollment in specific public assistance programs, or based on their household's income.  For example, a family of four (4) with a yearly household income of $45,100 or less may now qualify for the program.  

There are approximately 300,000 residents within SDG&E's service territory participating in CARE, yet there are still about 60,000 customers that are eligible for the discount but have yet to enroll in the program.  

The Energy Savings Assistance Program, formerly known as the Energy Team, provides no-cost weatherization and energy-efficient appliances for income-qualified renters and homeowners.  The over 200,000 customers that have participated in the program have received improvements that include: weather stripping, attic insulation, minor home repairs and replacement of qualified appliances.  

As of June 1, the new CARE and Energy Savings Assistance Program income guidelines are as follows:


Number of People

Per Household




1 or 2












Add $7,700 for each additional household member


  • Customers may qualify based on their current annual household income.   The income guidelines above will be in effect from June 1, 2011-May 31, 2012.  For customers who are recently unemployed, household income is calculated from the date of unemployment.
  • Customers may also be eligible if they are currently enrolled in any of the following public assistance programs:  Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, Medi-Cal, Healthy Families A & B, TANF/CalWORKs or Tribal TANF, Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only), Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, SNAP/CalFresh (Food Stamps), National School Lunch Program (NSLP), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Supplemental Security Income (SSI).  

Applying for the programs is easy; customers may use any of the following ways to apply:

  • Call the CARE toll-free automated enrollment line at (877) 646-5525;
  • Call the Energy Savings Assistance Program toll-free enrollment line at (866) 597-0597;
  • Log on to;
  • Enroll using the CARE application included in the July SDG&E bill.

In addition to the CARE program and Energy Savings Assistance Program, SDG&E also offers a variety of other assistance programs, such as reduced energy costs for customers with certain medical conditions/equipment and payment extensions for those who need extra help:

  • Medical Baseline: Provides additional baseline allowance (electricity and gas at the lowest rate) for customers who have medical conditions/equipment that impact their bill;
  • Neighbor-to-Neighbor: This fund provides a grant to help customers pay their gas and electric bills;
  • Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA): Provides lower rates for large households of three or more persons;
  • Level Payment Plan: Allows for monthly payments to be spread equally throughout the year.

Additional information on these assistance programs is available from SDG&E's website,  

SDG&E is a regulated public utility that provides safe and reliable energy service to 3.5 million consumers through 1.4 million electric meters and more than 850,000 natural gas meters in San Diego and southern Orange counties.  The utility's area spans 4,100 square miles.  SDG&E is committed to creating ways to help our customers save energy and money every day. 

CONTACT: Allison Zaragoza of San Diego Gas & Electric, 1-877-866-2066