RCEA’s Community Choice Energy customers have access to the following PG&E financial assistance programs —there’s no need to reapply if you are new to getting your electricity from RCEA:
- CARE (California Alternate Rates for Energy)
- FERA (Family Electric Rate Assistance)
- Medical Baseline Allowance
- LIHEAP (Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
- REACH (Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help)
- Arrearage Management Plan (AMP)
CARE (California Alternate Rates for Energy Program)
The California Alternative Rate for Energy program is administered by PG&E but paid for by all customers in California and available to people served by RCEA. Qualifying customers can receive a monthly discount of 20% or more on gas and about 35% on electricity. Participants qualify through income guidelines or if enrolled in certain public assistance programs. The program is easy to apply to and you may have a good chance of qualifying if your income has changed or you receive other financial assistance.
For more details and a link to apply or information on other programs you may qualify for, please visit PG&E’s CARE webpage or call the CARE/FERA line at 1-866-743-2273.
Arrearage Management Plan (AMP) and CAPP
AMP is a payment plan program that allows eligible customers who make on-time payments on their current monthly bills to receive debt forgiveness for previous overdue balances. AMP is available to residential customers who meet the following requirements:
- Enrolled in CARE or FERA discount program
- Owe at least $500 on their combined electric and gas bill
- Are more than 90 days past due
- Must have made at least one on-time payment in the past six months
- Must have been a PG&E customer for at least six months
Once enrolled, with each on-time payment, AMP will forgive 1/12 of the eligible debt owed at the time of AMP enrollment. After twelve on-time payments of current monthly charges, eligible debt will be forgiven up to $8,000. Missing two consecutive payments will lead to removal from AMP.
To confirm eligibility and/or enroll, customers should call PG&E at 1-800-743-5000. Visit PG&E’s website for more information.
2023 CAPP UPDATE:
- Residential customers may have received an automatic credit in February if their account qualified.
- Credits were based on the amount of unpaid energy charges incurred between March 4, 2020 and December 31 2021.
- This credit will not cover all of a past due debt and will vary based on the past due balance.
- The total credit amount will be clearly identified on bills as a credit.
- Customers receiving the CAPP credit are eligible for a flexible payment plan for remaining balances.
- Customers receiving a CAPP credit will be protected from disconnection for 90 days.
- Net Energy Metering customers and those with payment plans are eligible.
Note: Some customers received a letter from PG&E announcing the CAPP credit but it stated an incorrect amount for the credit. Although the letter was incorrect, the amount applied to accounts and listed on bill statements is correct.
For more information, visit the California Payment Arrearage Program.
The Safety Net program
Flexible Payment Plans
Budget Billing (also known as Balanced Payment Plan)
If you use the Budget Billing option with PG&E, your PG&E natural gas charges and your electric delivery charges will still be leveled from month to month. Electric generation charges cannot be leveled in the CCE program and will vary with each bill. For most customers, these charges do not vary greatly from month to month during the year.
FERA (Family Electric Rate Assistance Program)
The Family Electric Rate Assistance Program is program administered by PG&E. Customers qualify through income eligibility requirements AND must have a family size of at least three. The program allows for a monthly discount of 18% on electricity only. For more information or to check eligibility and program guidelines, please visit the FERA website or call 1-866-743-2273.
HEAP (Home Energy Assistance Program)
Redwood Community Action Agency offers support to residents of Humboldt County in covering energy costs through their Home Energy Assistance Program.
Redwood Community Action Agency provides assistance with PG&E bills, wood, propane, and oil. Customers can call (707) 444-3834 or visit their website for details http://rcaa.org/energy-services.
Medical baseline is a PG&E program that offers more energy at a lower energy rate to account for the medical needs of residential customers. Customers can receive advanced notice of Public Safety Power Shut-offs. Customers already enrolled in the program may self-certify online. New customers should call PG&E customer service number at 1-800-743-5000.
REACH (Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help)
Customers that qualify for the REACH program receive a one-time energy bill credit of up to $300. This credit is administered by PG&E and their partner organization Dollar Energy Fund. For more information and to learn about requirements to qualify for the program, please call 1-800-933-9677 or visit PG&E Reach page.
Energy Conservation Assistance Act (ECAA) Program Loans
The California Energy Commission offers loans for projects with proven energy and/or demand cost savings. Public Entities may be eligible for 1% loans on a first-come, first-served basis, and 0% loans are available to Local Educational Agencies on a competitive basis. Energy efficiency projects must be technically and economically feasible. For complete details and application information, visit the California Energy Commissions’s website.
PACE is a program that allows both residential and commercial property owners to borrow money in order to make energy efficiency and renewable energy upgrades to their property. The loan is paid back as part of the property tax bill. Get more information about PACE and see a list of PACE programs in Humboldt County and California on the PACE website.
The Salvation Army Family Services office is open Monday-Thursday from 11am-3pm. They offer bill pay assistance, for utilities and rent. Customer should mention if they have received an emergency shut-off notice.
For more information, contact the Eureka Salvation Army at 707-442-6475 or visit the Eureka Salvation Army website.