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WE CARE helps families

OW Staff | 4/22/2009, 5 p.m.

Rosemead, CA -- As a way to raise awareness about programs that help income-qualified utility customers save money on their bills, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has joined with utilities to create "We CARE California."

There are at least 900,000 utility customers throughout the state who may be eligible for programs to reduce energy bills by 20% or more. One such program is the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, which offers qualifying customers a 20% discount on their utility bill. Other programs, the Energy Management Assistance and Direct Assistance Programs, help income-qualified households conserve energy and reduce their electrical and heating costs. Southern California Edison (SCE) and the Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) supply and install energy-efficient appliances and equipment at no cost to eligible customers. Both programs are available to homeowners and renters.

"We encourage all of our customers-especially the newly unemployed-to find out if they qualify for discounts on their bill," said Lynda Ziegler, senior vice president of Customer Service for SCE.

"The Gas Company is focused on getting help quickly to families that have never been in this kind of financial situation and might never have had to ask for help in paying their bills," said Hal D. Snyder, vice president of Customer Solutions at SoCalGas.

At the resource fairs, representatives from community-based organizations, telephone and water companies, and financial assistance and counseling services will be available to share their information.

WE CARE Resource Fairs will be held:

Thursday, April 23, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. SCE event at the Long Beach City Plaza, 333 West Ocean Blvd., Long Beach, Calif.
www.sce.com/wecare

Friday, April 24, 2 p.m. - 8 p.m. SoCalGas/LADWP event. All People's Christian Center, 822 East 20th St., Los Angeles, Calif.
www.socalgas.com/wecare