SDG&E customers save through bill-assistance program

New CARE income guidelines expand eligibility

Jun 5, 2006

Media Contact:
Christy Heiser

San Diego Gas & Electric

(877) 866-2066


       SAN DIEGO, June 5, 2006 –More income-qualified customers now are eligible to receive a 20-percent discount on their San Diego Gas & Electric Co. (SDG&E) energy bill, due to new income guidelines that have gone into effect for eligible customers enrolled in the money-saving, state-sponsored California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program.

       There still are 115,000 residents in SDG&E’s service area who are financially eligible but have not yet enrolled in the CARE program, according to SDG&E.

       “We are committed to making sure that eligible customers interested in enrolling in CARE benefit from the 20-percent savings on their electric and natural gas bill,” said Michelle Mueller, SDG&E’s vice president of customer service.  "We have partnered with community groups throughout our service region to ensure that customers who qualify, regardless of where they live, are aware of the CARE program and are encouraged to enroll as soon as possible."

       Last year, SDG&E CARE customers saved, on average, $200 annually with the discounted rate.  More than 220,000 customers throughout SDG&E’s service area have enrolled in the CARE program.  

       Eligibility for the CARE program is based on household size and annual income.  The new income guidelines are based on the federal poverty levels adopted by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC).  More customers now qualify for the program.

       The new income guidelines effective June 1, 2006, based on pre-tax annual income are as follows:

                                 Number of People    Previous Income    New Income Guidelines
                                   Per Household          Guidelines        (Effective June 1, 2006)
                                       1 or 2                   $27,700                   $28,600
                                          3                      $32,500                   $33,600
                                          4                      $39,200                   $40,500
                                          5                      $45,900                   $47,400
                                          6                      $52,600                   $54,300
                                   Add $6,900 for each additional household member

       SDG&E customers will receive a CARE application in the July bill offering an opportunity to enroll.  To learn more about CARE and to download an application, customers can visit SDG&E’s Web site at   For an application and more information, customers can call SDG&E at 1-800-411-SDGE (7343).

       SDG&E offers a wide variety of residential programs offering bill-payment assistance, appliance and home improvement rebates, and energy audits to help customers save money and energy. 

       SDG&E currently serves 3.4 million consumers through 1.3 million electric meters and more than 825,000 natural gas meters.  The utility’s service area spans 4,100 square miles and serves customers in more than 125 communities from Southern Orange County to the Mexican border.  SDG&E is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE).  Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.  To learn more, go to