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State relief program erases $51.3 million in overdue SDG&E utility bills

Power lines at an SDG&E facility in North Park are seen here on Sept. 26, 2017.
Andrew Bowen
Power lines at an SDG&E facility in North Park are seen here on Sept. 26, 2017.

Around 113,000 San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) customers with overdue bills incurred during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic have automatically received debt relief through the California Arrearage Payment Program, it was announced Tuesday.

Over the weekend, the CAPP erased a total of $51.3 million in overdue balances SDG&E customers incurred between March 4, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2021, and the amount forgiven will be reflected on the next billing statement. The CAPP funds were applied automatically to customer accounts.

"In addition to the state's CAPP debt relief program, I want our customers to know that there many other assistance programs available to them," said Dana Golan, SDG&E vice president of customer services. "We are committed to helping our customers who are experiencing financial hardships due to high winter energy bills."


This is the second round of CAPP funding that SDG&E — working in collaboration with local Community Choice Aggregation programs — has applied for and secured from the state to assist their mutual customers, according to an SDG&E statement.

The first round of funding was credited to more than 93,000 eligible customers' accounts in February 2022, eliminating $62.5 million in overdue bills incurred between March 4, 2020, and June 15, 2021.

To date, CAPP has provided a total of $113.8 million in debt relief to customers served by SDG&E and local CCAs, including San Diego Community Power and Clean Energy Alliance.

According to the utility company, if an active customer's outstanding balance was $100, they would have received $100 to offset their outstanding balances. SDG&E is notifying eligible customers via email and letters in the mail, if the CAPP funds credited to their account are more than $10. A message will also be included on eligible customers' bills to let them know that CAPP funds have been applied to their accounts.

Last week, following news of natural gas prices skyrocketing and local utility bills going up, SDG&E made $1 million in customer assistance funding available for those experiencing financial hardship.


That assistance will be disbursed through the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program, which provides up to $300 in one-time grants to help offset past-due bills for SDG&E customers who need help paying bills and aren't eligible for the federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program.