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Assistance programs from Southwest Gas in California.

Qualified low income Southwest Gas customers in California with unexpected financial difficulties can apply for a number of different financial resources. Some examples of the programs offered include California Alternate Rates for Energy, Medical Baseline, Weatherization, Deferred Payments, and there is also an Energy Savings Assistance Program.

The Low-Income Weatherization Program is will help families make their home more efficient. It is now known as California Energy Savings Assistance in the companies service territory. This is offered for both homeowners and renters. This free (for qualified customers) Southwest Gas Weatherization Program will help people save money on their bills by increasing the energy efficiency of their residence. In order to participate in this program, an applicant will need to meet the income qualifications and levels that are determined by the California Public Utilities Commission.

The service provides qualified low income customers with free money-saving improvements to their home. Examples of the updates that will be paid for include adding extra insulation, caulking, furnace tune ups, and similar services. Some households may qualify for other energy-saving measures such as door weather-stripping, water heater blankets, and even low-flow showerheads, which can help people save money on their water bills.

The CARE program (California Alternate Rates for Energy) can provide discounts to Southwest Gas customers on their bills. The reduced rates are in place for income qualified customers on their primary residence. Some of the factors that are looked into when determining who is eligible include the number of family members as well as their total household income.

Qualified applicants can get up to a 20% discount on their monthly natural gas bills. The reduced rates can help people free up money so that they can afford to pay for other basic needs, such as their rent or even food. The CARE program is mandated by the state of California, and every energy company offers this service to their customers.

The California Additional Medical Baseline Program is another discount type program. It is only available to qualified California customers of Southwest Gas Corporation who are full-time residents of the home they currently reside in.





Anyone who thinks that they may qualify based on their medical condition will need to complete an application and it needs to be verified by a licensed surgeon, physician, or osteopath. Customers will be able to receive an additional monthly medical allowance of 25 therms on their account, and this will be provided for paraplegic, hemiplegic, or quadriplegic persons. Additional beneficiaries may include individuals who are being treated for a life threatening illness, people with multiple sclerosis / scleroderma patients, and also customers who have a compromised immune system.

Payment plans and a deferred payment program can be provided to customers with an emergency or financial hardship. The applicant for this service will need to have outstanding bills on their account. This program will in effect allow Southwest Gas customers to pay their bills over an extended period of time. Call (877) 860-6020.

A formal application and approval process is in place. Customers that can demonstrate that they are faced with an emergency/hardship that was not caused by them, and who owe money on their account, are the typical beneficiaries. This deferred payment program gives families that use Southwest Gas the opportunity to obtain some form of financial assistance before their energy service is discontinued. Customer service representatives can also make referrals to government programs such as LIHEAP, or local social service agencies including the Salvation Army.

Energy Share Program is offered by a partnership between the Salvation Army and Southwest Gas, and it relies heavily on contributions and donations. This assistance program is an emergency fund which provides direct cash assistance to qualified families and individuals in the service territory. The priority will be for those people with unexpected financial difficulties, such as a medical emergency, the loss of a job, or death in the family.




Qualified individuals can receive help for paying their bills. The program is administered locally by the Salvation Army Corp centers across California. As indicated, it relies on contributions and generosity of people in the local community, and all contributions are tax deductible.

If you can donate to Energy Share, please keep in mind that one hundred percent of all contributions and donations are used to help families and individuals in need. The money will make a difference to a strugglign Southwest Gas household. Anyone who needs help will need to apply at their local Salvation Army.


By Jon McNamara

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