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Southern California Gas Co. assistance guidelines expanded

Increased eligibility for households in need

OW Staff Writer | 6/13/2013, midnight

More low-income Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) customers are eligible to save 20 percent on their monthly natural gas bill and receive no-cost energy efficient home improvements as a result of updated income guidelines for the state-sponsored California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) and Energy Savings Assistance Program.

“SoCalGas is committed to enrolling as many eligible customers as possible into our assistance programs,” said Rodger Schwecke, vice president of customer solutions for SoCalGas. “Together with our community partners, we engage in continuous outreach to help ensure our customers know about the many assistance programs available to help them in difficult economic times.”

The CARE program provides a 20-percent rate discount on the monthly natural gas bill for eligible households and has already enrolled about 1.6 million customers throughout the SoCalGas service area. Those who qualify and are approved within 90 days of starting new gas service will also receive a $15 discount on the Service Establishment Charge.

The Energy Savings Assistance Program provides no-cost energy-efficient home improvements to income-qualified renters and homeowners. Services include door weather-stripping and caulking to keep unwanted drafts out of the home; attic insulation to help the home stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter; low-flow shower heads that can save energy used to heat water; furnace replacement (owner occupied only); high-efficiency clothes washers and other minor home repairs.

Customers may be automatically eligible if they or a household member currently receive benefits from any of the following programs: Medi-Cal/Medicaid, Healthy Families A & B, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), CalWORKs (TANF), Tribal TANF, Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only), Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance (BIA-GA), CalFresh/SNAP (Food Stamps), National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Security Income (NSLP), Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).

As of June 1, 2013, the new CARE and Energy Savings Assistance Program income guidelines, based on pre-tax annual income, are as follows: Persons in Household

Customers can learn more and apply by visiting http://www.socalgas.com/for-your-home/assistance-programs/ or by any of the following:

  • Apply for CARE online at SoCalGas.
  • Apply for Energy Savings Assistance Program online at SoCalGas.
  • Call SoCalGas toll-free at (800) 427-2200 or (800) 342-4545 in Spanish.

More SoCalGas Low-Income Customers Eligible for Bill-Assistance Programs

In addition to the CARE and Energy Savings Assistance Programs, SoCalGas also offers programs for customers who qualify through a limited income or special medical needs:

  • The Gas Assistance Fund helps provide a one-time grant to customers during the winter who are income-qualified and unable to pay their bill.
  • The Medical Baseline Allowance program assists customers who have a person in the home with certain medical conditions that may require additional heating to sustain their health. There are no income requirements for the Medical Baseline program; however, doctor certification is required to receive additional natural gas at the lowest baseline rate.