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San Diego Gas and Electric assistance programs.

If you are struggling with paying your utility, electric, or water bills, then San Diego Gas and Electric (SDG&E) may have a program for you. Customers can apply for government assistance, conservation programs, payments plans or in some cases there may be financial aid that can be offered directly by SDG&E.

State and federal government programs

Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program – The federal government works with the state of California and local non-profit organizations to offer LIHEAP. This government grant program provides financial and cash assistance for San Diego Gas and Electric customers who are seniors, the working poor, and low income persons.

Funds are used to pay cooling, gas and electric bills of qualified dwellings. Not only will financial support be available, but it is often offered in combination with weatherization, which promotes the goal of increasing home energy efficiency and helps people save money on their bills. Call the California Department of Community Services and Development at (866) 675-6623 to learn more or apply.

The state of California CARE program may be able to offer San Diego Gas and Electric customers up to a 35% discount on their monthly utility bills. This is equivalent to a savings of almost $300 per year, which is based on average energy usage. This discount is offered for customers who receive some form of government or public assistance, such as SSI, CalWorks, or Head Start. The discount will usually start up fairly quickly and be applied to accounts within 30 days of enrollment.

The Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) can help qualified households with three or more persons that are living at the address. This state of California discount program provides savings on electricity bills once the individual’s power usage reaches certain program levels.

FERA can offer SDG&E customers lower electric bills based on their specific usage. What will happen is when a customer reaches tier 3, they will then be billed at the lower tier 2 rate. Please keep in mind that if your household energy usage does not reach the tier 3 level, the Family Electric Rate Assistance discount will not be applied to your monthly gas or electric bill.





Direct San Diego Gas and Electric assistance and savings programs

The SDG&E Energy Team can help you find and sign up for savings programs. The energy company may be able to provide free weatherization type resources, including energy-saving home improvements such as new energy-efficient appliances. A number of measures and updates can be made to the homes of seniors and those with limited incomes who meet specific guidelines. It does not matter whether you rent or own a home, as both renters and homeowners can participate in this program. However all applicants will of course need to live in the San Diego Gas and Electric service territory. 866-597-0597.

San Diego Gas and Electric payment arrangements may be available for those who are having difficulty paying their utility bills. You need to ask for help as soon as possible, and it definitely needs to be before the expiration of the past due notice. The longer a customer waits to seek help the fewer options are available to them.

Customer service representatives will work with you to provide solutions, including payment arrangements. Plans can help people with avoiding reconnection fees, service shut-offs, and reconnection deposits. Never rely on email in an emergency, but please do call. You will need to call them before your bill becomes delinquent to take advantage of any possible options. Dial 1-800-411-7343.

Home improvements, updates, and modifications can be made to help people save money. Whether you own or rent, and if you qualify for savings, highly trained and authorized contractors will come to your home. Free services offered by SDG&E may include new or repaired windows and doors; installation of energy-efficient refrigerators, lighting, and air conditioners; extra insulation, weather-stripping and caulking to lower heating and cooling costs; high-efficiency clothes washers, Microwaves, and water heaters. Phone 1-866-597-0597. Most people who receive Energy Savings Assistance also qualify for discounts from the state of California CARE program.




Medical Baseline program offers discounts for customers who have someone in the household who has a serious medical condition or need that requires increased energy usage. Additional savings of up to 30% are provided. Some of the conditions that applicants can have include Multiple Sclerosis, Hemiplegia, Paraplegia, Quadriplegia, Scleroderma, and other life-threatening illness or immune system issues.

Partner programs

For people who may be eligible for some financial aid but but who are not qualified for other state and federal government assistance, then the Neighbor-to-Neighbor Fund may be an option. It provides up to $200 towards paying your San Diego Gas and Electric bill. Aid is offered for customers who are experiencing temporary financial hardship or a crisis, but have no other means or programs available to them. It is a program of last resort.


By Jon McNamara

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