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Sacramento Municipal Utility District assistance programs.

Low income customers of SMUD, or Sacramento Municipal Utility District, can receive discounts on their bills and may be able to receive financial assistance. There are also payment plans from SMUD, free energy conservation measures and more. Find how to get grants, emergency assistance and other support from local non-profit organizations and other agencies below, as well as application numbers. The primary programs include California Alternative Rates for Energy as well as EAPR. Medical discounts may be provided too.

The state mandates that all utility companies offer customers applications to the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) program. Lower income Sacramento Municipal Utility District customers may receive a discount of around 20 percent on their monthly electric bills if they qualify.

The state agency known as the California Public Utilities Commission oversees this regulation at the state level and will ensure that it is available to all residents. While various qualifications are in place, and can change over time, in general any assistance paid out will be based on your total gross annual household income as well as the number of persons living in your home. Income guidelines are in place as well, and SMUD customers who qualify for other public assistance such as CalFresh/SNAP (Food Stamps) or Medi-Cal will usually automatically be enrolled.

The main resource from Sacramento Municipal Utility District/SMUD is the Energy Assistance Program Rate, or EAPR. This is another discount program, and it can provide low-income and working poor families and customers a discount of about 30 percent on monthly energy costs.

If you are found to be qualified and can enroll, qualified customers that participate in EAPR program will be able to receive discounts of:

  • A $6.50 discount on monthly systems infrastructure fixed charge.
  • Receive up to a 35 percent discount on Base Usage of your SMUD bill.
  • Low income customers may also receive a 30 percent reduction on usage of up to the first 600 kWh of Base Plus usage.

The discount is offered for a defined period of time. Most customers will need to re-apply for help every 1 to 2 years. When this time comes the energy company will mail you an application and send you a notice.




If your income or financial situation changes you also need to notify Sacramento Municipal Utility District. Dial  1-888-742-7683 to speak to a customer service representative so that they can update your account.

Referrals and non-profits can also be contacted. SMUD has information on a couple leading agencies to call for help, including The Salvation Army (916-678-4040) as well as Community Resource Project (916-567-5200). They from time to time may have special programs and grants available, including LIHEAP and weatherization.

The Medical Equipment Discount was created for those Utility District customers who are experiencing higher electricity costs and utility bills that are the result of running certain energy-intensive medical equipment. The MED Rate discount can be for as much as $15. Some of the qualifications needed by applicants include a resident of your household must have a need to use medical requirement and this also needs to be certified by a licensed physician or doctor.

Some of what is covered by the MED Rate includes Oxygen concentrator, In-home dialysis cycler, and an electric wheelchair. Assistance may also be offered for those individuals with extraordinary air-conditioning or heating costs. Individuals with conditions such as multiple sclerosis, paraplegia, or quadriplegia may be qualified.

Also, a key benefit is that the MED Rate program can even be combined with the EAPR program mentioned above. The two resources combined will help people get the most savings on their bills every month. Dial 916- 732-7370 for information, enrollment, or if the standard rate does not meet your medical needs. SMUD may be able to look into other services.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District also has a payment program in place for overdue bills. Call the Department of Human Assistance Information line at (916) 875-1355 to apply. It is a new service and it may run out of funding as it is limited in nature.





Eligibility criteria for this special financial assistance program is based on conditions such as the applicant having an income level at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, the household needs to have a minor child in the home, clients need to have a past due SMUD bill in their name, and other conditions are in place as well. Aid is only offered for people who receive EAPR (Energy Assistance Program Rate) and who are not currently disconnected.

How to apply for help from SMUD

The main number is 1-888-742-7683. Customer service can go over payment plans, financial assistance programs, or give referrals to charities and other resources in Sacramento County.


By Jon McNamara

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