California utility bill and cooling bill assistance programs.
Below you will find information on how to get help with paying utility bills in California. Most of the gas, electric, water, and utility companies in California run assistance programs for local families and individuals. They may give financial help, payment plans, abatements and other help. Some local cities, counties and towns may also be able to provide limited financial assistance for paying energy bills.
Some of the programs, such as CARE or LIHEAP, are mandated by the state or federal government. Other programs are funded by donations from local individuals and businesses. Regardless of the source, customers in California can contact their utility or gas company at the phone numbers below to request assistance or an application.
Statewide and government financial aid programs for paying utility bills
California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) is available statewide. This assistance program is offered by all utility companies across California. What it does is it provides customers across the state with a 20 percent discount on natural gas and electric bills. It is only available for lower income families and certain thresholds apply. So while the CARE program may not be referenced below for all the utilities listed, they do offer it so you can just refer to the program when looking for help.
Low income government assistance and free energy conservation programs - California families that meet low income guidelines can receive grants for paying their utility bills from the federal government Home Energy Assistance Program as well as free energy conservation measures. Additional details on California LIHEAP grants for low income energy bill help.
California Low-Income Energy Efficiency (LIEE) Program is about conservation. This is a program that is offered by almost all utility, gas, and power companies across California. Qualified low to moderate income customers, the elderly, and disabled can gain access to such services including energy efficient furnaces, attic insulation, low-flow showerheads, energy efficient refrigerators, or free door and building envelope repairs which reduce air infiltration. There may also be weatherstripping, caulking, water heater blankets, and other conservation measure. Call your local utility company to apply or get more information.
California disconnection prevention laws are in effect. Incredibly hundreds of thousands of families in California face a disconnection of their utility service each and every year. Reasons for this can be many, including a job loss, medical emergency, or short term financial hardship. Click here to learn more on California state utility disconnection laws, and how they can protect individuals to ensure a possible disconnection is legal.
Financial assistance for water bills is coordinated by the government too. The state of California requires that water companies offer some form of assistance to their customers. Services can range from payment plans to discounts and reduced rates. If you are behind on your water bills or are facing a shut off, find a listing of resources for water bill assistance in California.
Electric and utility assistance from companies in California
In addition to the providers listed below, note that if your utility or gas company is not listed below then you can click here for additional resources and services for electric bills that may be able to provide aid.
Alameda Power & Telecom – Receive one-time emergency utility bill assistance, up to $200, when electric bill is in arrears from the Energy Assistance through Supportive Efforts (EASE). Call 510-814-4200
Alameda Power & Telecom – This power company offers its customers the Energy Assistance Program (EAP), which is an intervention program that includes, among other things, free compact fluorescent lights , a one-year 25 percent electric rate reduction home energy audit, and replacement of inefficient refrigerators and/or freezers. 510-814-4219
Alpine Natural Gas – LIEE is offered. Dial 209-772-3006
Anaheim Public Utilities – Seniors over the age of 62 may be able to qualify for the Low-Income Senior Energy Credit. There are income criteria that of course need to be met, but it may be able to provide customers a 10 percent discount on their monthly electric bill. Call 714-765-4250 for more information, or to apply.
Anaheim Public Utilities – The federal government weatherization assistance program was created in partnership with the Orange County California Community Development Council. Contractors as part of the program will make free home repairs, replace inefficient appliances and install other energy saving measures as needed to the applicant’s residence. Call 714/839-6199 to apply or learn more.
Anaheim Public Utilities Department – A program can provide one-time emergency utility and gas bill paying assistance for low to moderate income through City of Anaheim Community Services Department. Call 714-765-4500
Several other low income assistance and grant programs are administered by Anaheim Utilities in California. They focus on seniors, families with children, and others. Free conservation measures are offered too. Continue with financial assistance from Anaheim Utilities.
Azusa Light and Water – The Residential Low Income Assistance may be able to provide a one-time energy bill payment. They also run and offer the lifeline rate, which applies to households who have a full-time member who requires essential life-support devise. Call 626-812-5225
Bear Valley Electric – The only assistance program they run is CARE, and it may be able to offer customers up to a twenty percent discount for customers at or below 200 percent of the federal government poverty level. 800-999-4033
Bear Valley Electric – This utility company also offers LIEE. Services offered by the power company include energy efficient furnaces, attic and floor insulation, energy efficient refrigerators, weatherstripping, caulking, door and building envelope repairs which reduce air infiltration, low-flow showerheads, water heater blankets, and more. Call 800-999-4033
Burbank Water and Power – An assistance program known as Project Share is available for customers. This program was created to help Burbank California area families who may be experiencing temporary financial difficulties or a short term hardship due to unemployment, reduction in hours, sudden illness, and other unforeseen hardships or crisis. Call 238-3700
Burbank Water and Power – The primary assistance program offered is known as the Lifeline Program. This is for qualified customers, and it may be able to make them exempt from the monthly Customer Service Charge and the Utility Users Tax and receive reduced rates on their electric service, garbage and refuse, and sewer services. The program is targeted at low-income disabled customers, customers on life support, and low-income senior citizens. 818-238-3722
City of Banning – A program known as B.E.A.R (Banning Electric Alternative Rate) may be able to assist qualified low-income city residents with paying their electric bill. If a customer applies for help, and upon approval, qualified applicants to the BEAR program will receive an annual discount of up to $200 on the electric portion of their utility bill. 951-849-5224
City of Colton Electric Utility – Two options include the Medical Baseline program, which provides for help for people with a medical condition. There is also a Public Benefit Charge Exemption, which is a rate credit for public benefit charges on a customer’s utility bill. Call 909-370-5040
City of Colton Electric Utility offers aid from the Evaporative Cooler Program, and what this does is provide evaporative coolers to low-income to help them deal with high air conditioning costs. Call 909-370-5040
City of Healdsburg - Emergency or so called Crisis Assistance is available to qualified individuals. It can provide a one-time annual bill paying assistance through California Human Development Corp. Energy Service Department. They also of course, like other power companies, administers and offer the City Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE), which will offer up to a fifteen percent rate discount on waste, electric, and water bills for income-qualified customers. Call 1-866-675-6626 or 707-431-3346
City of Palo Alto – People with a medical condition may be able to receive up to a 20 percent discount on water, gas, and/or electricity charges and bills. Also, the Residential Rate Assistance Program (RRAP) can provide up to a twenty percent discount for households with SSI, AFDC, and Food Stamp recipients, who will automatically qualify for the discount. People with a financial or medical hardship may also be eligible. 650-329-2333
City of Palo Alto Utilities runs the Project PLEDGE program, which can offer one-time annual emergency bill paying assistance. Call 650-329-2333
City of Shasta Lake Municipal Utilities - The Lifeline Program may be able to offer reduced rates to customers on their own electric, water, and wastewater bills, and the program was created for disabled or low-income elderly. It is administered locally by the Salvation Army, and interested customers can dial 530-222-2207.
City of Ukiah - R.E.A.C.H. is a resource for qualified customers that may be able to provide emergency energy and utility bill assistance, once every two years, through Community Help and other local, non-profit agencies. The financial assistance will be applied to electrical charge and administered by the local Salvation Army branches. Call 707-468-9577 for more information.
City of Ukiah offers the Ukiah C.A.R.E.S, which is a monthly discount for seniors (up to $25) and low-income households (up to $20). Enrollment to the income care program, and income qualifications, are set and determined by the local Salvation Army branches. Call 707-468-9577. Or call the following numbers in the counties below. Edison 866-675-6623, PG&E 800-933-9677, SDG&E 800-411-7343, Alpine Nat'l Gas 209-772-3006, SoCalGas 800-427-2200, West Coast Gas 916-364-4100, Avista Utilities 800-2270-9187, Bear Valley Electric 800-808-8237, PacifiCorp 888-221-7070, Sierra Pacific 800-782-2498, Southwest Gas 800-645-4541
Glendale Water & Power - Cool Care is a refrigerator replacement program which will help people reduce energy costs. Call 818-548-3300
Glendale Water & Power, which can be reached at 818-548-3300, may be able to offer discounts to low income senior citizens. It is known as Senior Care. They also run the GWP Guardian program, which is for customers who have household members using life saving medical equipment and/or some type of medical emergency or hardship.
Glendale Water & Power’s emergency assistance program is also known as Helping Hand. This program may be able to help low to moderate income customers continue their electric service by providing up to $150 in one-time GWP utility bill payment or deposit assistance for low-income customers who are experiencing a temporary financial emergency. Call 818-548-3300 to apply or request an application.
Imperial Irrigation District (IID) (phone number 1-800-303-7756) runs the Residential Energy Assistance Program (REAP). This may be able to provide low income customers with up to a 25 percent discount on their electricity bills. In addition, emergency bill paying assistance may be available for customers who need additional help paying energy bills. One nice feature is also known as the Energy Efficiency Bonus Plan, which will in effect reward customers and offer them a discount if they are able to reduce the amount of energy they use. The total discount offered can be as great as 25 percent. A Super 65 Discount Program for Senior Citizens is another option for people over 65.
Imperial Irrigation District, phone number 1-760-339-9032, runs the Emergency Energy Assistance Program. This is an option for those customers who may be facing disconnection due to nonpayment of their utility, gas, or electric bills. Individuals and families can apply for Emergency Energy Assistance.
Lassen Municipal Utilities District – They run the Energy Conservation Assistance Program: ECAP. This is a resource that provides utility bill rate assistance, with an emphasis on energy conservation, to low-income customers. Dial 257-4174 for more information or details.
Lodi Electric Utility – A resource known as the Senior Fixed Income Discount can provide up to a 5% discount to seniors who are classified as low income. Another component is the Single Household Alternative Rate for Energy (SHARE), which will offer up to a thirty percent discount on monthly electric bills for income-eligible customers. Last, but not least, the Residential Medical Discount can offer help for utility bills to those California residents who have qualifying medical conditions or regularly use life-support equipment. It can entail up to a 25% savings on energy bills.
Lompoc City Electric – Apply for a monthly discount of $8 which can be applied to utility bills for income qualifying households. Lompoc also offers assistance for qualifying customers that can help them to purchase energy efficient refrigerators. To see if you qualify for these assistance programs call 875-8252 for an application and additional information.
Long Beach Gas & Oil – One option is known as the Low-Income Senior or Disabled Program, which offers a five percent discount on gas services. It can also help with water bills, sewer expenses, and other ongoing fees and charges. The Low-Income Gas Discount Program may be able to provide up to a five percent discount on gas charges for income qualified customers. Last, but not least, a low income senior or elderly assistance program was created, which can also help the disabled. Call 562-570-2068.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power – A resource known as Project Angel will be able to help the elderly and low-income customers as well as unemployed DWP residential customers meet their energy and water bill needs. The program is especially designed for those not eligible for other aid or welfare assistance from the government or state of California. Funds are administered and distributed by the United Way. 1-800-342-5397
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power – Phone number 1-800-342-5397. Services offered include the Residential Low-Income Rate program. This is an assistance program that reduces the cost of electricity bills, water expenses and sewer charges for a permanent, primary residence up to 15 percent. Another option is the Senior Citizen Lifeline Rate, which may give a discount to people who are 62 years of age or older. A Life Support Device Discount will help people who need electricity for life saving equipment.
Modesto Irrigation District - Offers an assistance program that reduces a customer’s fixed monthly charge from $12.50 to $5.00, and includes a 22.1 % discount on the remainder of your utility bill for a period of two years. A Medical Support Plan is also offered. Call 1-866-645-6625
Pacific Gas & Electric – Another conservation program offered by customers includes the Energy Partners Program. As just a few of the examples of services and resources offered for qualified customers include, but are not limited to, door replacement, attic insulation, door weather-stripping, caulking and minor home repair and updated. In addition, the following appliances may be replaced for qualified customers: refrigerator, evaporative cooler, and a room air conditioner. Dial 1-800-933-9555
Pacific Gas & Electric – In addition to CARE, they offer Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) is a utility rate reduction program that is targeted at larger, lower income households. The customer needs to have three or more people with low- to middle-income. This may be able to help people who are not eligible for the CARE program. A Medical Baseline Program is offered for people who need their power for special heating or cooling needs, or to use medical or health related equipment. 1-800-743-5000
Pacific Gas and Electric – Another program is known as REACH. This serves as a one-time energy bill assistance program that is administered through over 160 Salvation Army locations throughout northern and central California. It is for people who have a short term, unexpected hardship, and it can provide up to a $200 credit on the customers electricity bills. Call 1-800-933-9677 to apply or learn more.
Pacific Gas and Electric - Several other payment programs and weatherization resources are administered for low income California families. Read more on financial assistance from Pacific Gas and Electric.
Pacific Power – A program that is administered by the Salvation Army known as Project HELP may be able to provide help for paying utility, gas, and electric bills. 530-842-7321
Pacific Power – This utility of course offers CARE. They also provide a medical allowance type assistance program. 1-866-675-6627. More details on Pacific Power assistance.
Pasadena Water and Power – A services known as Assisting Pasadena People with Limited Emergencies, or Project A.P.P.L.E. for short, is for customers, and they can receive a one-time emergency financial assistance which at most is $100 per year. Phone number (626) 744-7300
Pasadena Water and Power - Rebuilding Together Pasadena is a home repair and energy conservation program. It provides energy efficiency home repairs for low-income disabled or elderly customers in their service area. 626-798-6176
Pasadena Water and Power (dial 626-744-4005). They offer an Electric/Utility Bill Assistance Program (EUAP), which basically involves PWP crediting income-qualified electric customers' accounts a total of $5 each month. A medical assistance program is also provided, as well as the standard California CARES program.
Pasadena Water and Power offers qualified low income families other financial assistance and discount programs. Some resources are focused on seniors or the disabled. Other programs are available for anyone that meets income limits. More on assistance programs from Pasadena Water and Power.
Redding Electric Utility – Get weatherization services from Self-Help Home Improvement Project (SHHIP). It is available for low income customers. Call 530-378-6900 to apply or learn more.
Redding Electric Utility – The SHARES program is for people, elderly, and senior citizens who are 62 years of age or older. Administered by the non-profit Golden Umbrella. Phone 530-223-6034
Redding Electric Utility of course offers customers the CARE program. Another resource is the Lifeline Rate Program, which is an option that is available to qualified low-income seniors (age 62 and over) and low-income disabled customers. This will provide them with up to a 25% discount on their utilities. The Redding CARES program will provide emergency financial assistance, and make the funds available to qualified low to moderate income customers. The program will provide one-time utility bill payment assistance toward the electric portion of a customer’s utility bill. 866-267-8845
Several other resources are offered by Redding Electric to low income customers, including energy saving. Learn more on Redding Electric financial help.
Riverside Public Utilities – SHARE is an assistance program for low income. Call 909-955-6478
Riverside Public Utilities – Their weatherization program is known as WE CARE. It is a free in-home weatherization service for seniors, low-income, and disabled households. Services offered by the program may include electric water heater blanket, weather stripping, door sweeps, and water-saving showerheads. Phone number is 909-826-5485
Riverside Public Utilities - UtiliCare is a utility bill assistance program that provides a defined quantity of electricity at reduced rates to any family or household with a full-time resident who needs their power for a medical reason. Dial 909-782-0330
Several other programs are offered by Riverside Utilities. Some assistance is even available for water bills as well. Click here Riverside Public Utilities assistance programs.
Roseville Electric – This California utility company offers a discount for customers who need power for a medical reason. In addition they offer an Electric Rate Bill Assistance Program, which is in effect a 15 percent credit on all electric service charges and bills. Call 916-797-6937
Sacramento Municipal Utility District – A resource known as EnergyHELP was created in partnership with local charities and non-profits including Sacramento Food Bank Services ,the Salvation Army, Folsom Cordova Community Partnership and Travelers Aid. Qualified low income recipients can receive financial assistance of up to $200 a year toward unpaid balances on their SMUD bill. Call 1-866-675-6624
Sacramento Municipal Utility District runs an assistance program to help people with the payment of overdue utility bills for eligible low-income families. All applicants to this service need to be SMUD customers receiving EAPR (Energy Assistance Program Rate) who are not currently disconnected from service. Dial (916) 875-1355. Another option is the Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR). This will provide qualifying low-income customers and families with a discount of more than 30 percent off their monthly energy bill. 1-888-742-7683. A Medical Discount rate is also available. Read more Sacramento Municipal Utility District programs.
San Diego Gas & Electric – This utility company offers CARE (details at top of the page), and they administer the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA). FERA is for income qualified households that have three or more persons in the house, and this program provides a discount to them on their monthly electricity bills. A medical program is also offered for customers who need power for health reasons. 1-800-411-7343
San Diego Gas & Electric, which can be reached at 800-411-7343, offers qualified customers the Energy Team. This energy conservation program provides qualified customers with free energy-saving home improvements such as new energy-efficient appliances and other measures to seniors who meet specific income guidelines and others who have limited incomes.
San Diego Gas and Electric – The Neighbor to Neighbor assistance program helps customers who do not qualify for any other federal government or state of California assistance programs but can't pay their SDG&E bill due to a short term, temporary financial hardship such as temporary unemployment, short term reduction in come, or a serious family illness. Dial 1-800-411-7343
San Diego Gas and Electric - Additional government financial assistance programs, grants, and energy conservation resources are administered. Read more on San Diego Gas and Electric assistance.
Sierra Pacific Power Company – The Special Assistance Fund for Energy (S.A.F.E.) is run by charities, community action agencies, and non-profits in the area. It is an energy bill assistance program. The contact information is Alpine County 530-573-3490, El Dorado County 530-573-3490, Mono County, 775-834-6126, Nevada County 775-298-0010, Placer County 775-298-0010, Sierra & Plumas County 530-993-4770.
Sierra Pacific Power Company (SPPCo) – A medical assistance program is offered for people who need power for health care equipment. Also CARE, is an option. 1-866-675-6627
Silicon Valley Power runs for its customers the Residential Rate Assistance Program (RAP), which provides them with a 25 percent discount off electric portion of Municipal Utilities bill. Certain income criteria need to be met. 866-675-6626.
Silicon Valley Power, City of Santa Clara – There primary assistance program is known as the Rate Assistance Program (RAP), which will provide a 25 percent discount off the electric and utility portion of the Municipal Utilities bill, and the program is offered to qualified Santa Clara residents who meet certain medical or financial conditions. Call 408-244-7283
Southern California Edison – Both the CARE program as well as the FERA program are provided. FERA offers a discount on energy bills to low income-qualified households of three or more that use a significant amount of electricity. SCE also runs a medical program, The last options is known as the Energy Assistance Fund, and it provides customers with a one-time cash grant, financial assistance of $100 during a one-year period. Call 1-800-950-2356
Southern California Edison – The Energy Management Assistance Program can help low income customers lower their utility bills. Southern California Edison will pay for improvements and energy saving measures, so the program is free to qualified customers. 1-800-736-4777
There are other payment plans, grants, and emergency resources. Find more on Southern California Edison assistance programs.
Southern California Gas Company, phone number 1-800-427-2200, runs the Gas Assistance Fund. This may be able to help qualifying customers pay their gas bills. The fund is administered locally by the United Way.
Southern California Gas customers can get access to free weatherization services as well as furnace repair or replacement services(homeowners only) for qualified low limited-income customers. The service is known as the Direct Assistance Program, and dial 1-800-331-7593 to learn more.
Southern California Gas, which can be reached at 1-800-427-2200, runs the CARE program. A Medical Baseline Allowance is offered to customers who have a life-threatening illness, if the customer is seriously disabled, or if the customer requires regular use of life-support equipment powered by gas service or some other type of energy. In addition, an allowance of gas at a lower rate may be available to these customers.
Southern California Gas - The state is closely regulating which customers can have their power disconnected, and has put into place laws that ensure individuals are offered access to utility bill assistance and disconnection prevention programs.
Southern California Gas - In addition to the resources mentioned above, the energy company provides qualified low income customers, disabled, and seniors other aid. This can include payment plans, discounts, and government cash assistance. Click here Southern California Gas assistance programs.
Southwest Gas – The Energy Share program is a crisis or an emergency fund which provides direct financial assistance and cash grants to qualified low to moderate income people with unexpected financial difficulties or a hardship, such as the loss of a job or a medical emergency. The Salvation Army runs this California assistance program.
Southwest Gas Company – The LIEE energy conservation program provides qualified limited and low income customers with money-saving improvements and energy conservation measures at no cost to the program participant. Examples of some of the energy conserving measures are low-flow showerheads , caulking, door weather-stripping, and even such updates as water heater blankets. Call 1-800-635-4618.
Southwest Gas offers both the CARE program as well as a medical assistance program from the Additional Baseline Program. Call 1-800-645-4541
Those are just a couple examples of the services provided by the gas company. Read more Southwest Gas California assistance programs.
Surprise Valley Electrification Corporation – Qualified low income and other struggling customers may be able to receive one-time annual emergency energy bill assistance for paying utility bills. Dial 530-233-3511.
Trinity Public Utilities District offers a discount program known as Energy Net. It will provide customers with a discount on their total energy bill, amount fluctuates depending on rate revenues. The program is administered by The Human Response Network. Dial 530-623-2024 to apply or learn more.
Truckee Donner PUD – This utility company may be able to provide pipe and attic insulation, low-flow showerheads and other basic weatherization measures to help customers save on utility bills. 530-582-3931
Turlock Irrigation District – CARES is available to help with natural gas and electric bills. Another option is Home Life Support Discount Program, which offers discounts to eligible customers with life support equipment in their homes or medical conditions requiring temporary regulation. Call 892-3336. Last, but not least, the Energy Assistance Program may be able to offer a discount equal to $9 per month plus a discount of 15 percent of the charge to eligible customers. Phone 209-883-8300
Turlock Irrigation District – They partner with Central Valley Opportunities Center to offer qualified people free weatherization services to include appliance (refrigerator and microwave) replacement , window sunscreens, and some appliance repairs for low-income customers. Call them at 209-577-3210
West Coast Gas – Two options are Emergency Charitable Assistance, which may provide charitable funds and grants to help as a last resort emergency, and the money is targeted at those with limited resources and limited times of operation. LIEE is also offered. 916-364-4100
WP Natural Gas – Customers of this company can apply for CARE. 30-541-0300