Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Low-Income SDG&E Customers Eligible for 20 Percent Utility Discount

Many low-income customers don't take advantage of a program that saves them money on their utility bills. San Diego Gas and Electric says new income guidelines allow some customers to get a 20 percent

Many low-income customers don't take advantage of a program that saves them money on their utility bills. San Diego Gas and Electric says new income guidelines allow some customers to get a 20 percent discount. KPBS reporter Ed Joyce has details.

The California Alternate Rates for Energy, or CARE program, saved more than 200,000 SDGE customers an average of $200 on their bills last year. But more than 100,000 eligible customers haven't yet signed up for the program. The utility's Peter Hidalgo says program applications will be included with July bills.

Hidalgo : The idea is the majority of those folks may not be eligible, but maybe they know someone, whether it's a neighbor or a senior citizen on a fixed income. Maybe they'll give that application to them even though they should already receive it too. We're just trying to get the word out and give it to folks who may want to reach out to others.

The new CARE guidelines are based on pre-tax annual income. A one or two-person household can be eligible if they earn less than $29,300 a year.

Ed Joyce, KPBS News.

People                     Previous               New
    Per                           Income                  Income
        Household               Guidelines            Guidelines

1 or 2                |        $28,600       |       $29,300

3                       |        $33,600       |       $34,400

4                       |        $40,500       |       $41,500

5                       |        $47,400       |       $48,600

(New guidelines effective June 1, 2007. Add $7,100 for each additional household member.)