Customers can see the discount on their bill after a full billing cycle. On average, CARE saves households $41 per month on their gas and electric usage.
"Thousands of eligible customers who qualify for this discount program are not aware of the opportunity, and we are asking everyone to pass this information on to those who may not know they can benefit from CARE," said Linda Fontes, CARE Program supervisor for PG&E. "To make sure that we reach all CARE-qualified customers, we have partnered with 75 community-based organizations from Bakersfield to the Oregon border that perform outreach activities and provide assistance in low-income communities. As a result of these partnerships, more than 5,400 households were enrolled in the program in 2006."
"The CARE Program and the increased income guidelines will help families with financial challenges. The discount helps families put food on their tables and seniors pay for their prescription medication," said Lisa Salinas, Vice President of Communication Services, LLC, one of PG&E's community outreach contractors. "The CARE Program is a fabulous program that helps us build stronger, healthier neighborhoods in the communities we serve."
Applying for the CARE Program is easy. Every residential customer received a CARE application included in PG&E's June bill package. Customers can also call a toll-free multilingual assistance line, (866) PGE-CARE (743-2273), to get more information and request an application form. Customers can find a CARE application in Chinese, English, Spanish and Vietnamese online at www.pge.com/care.
Every year, the CPUC adjusts the maximum qualifying income levels to reflect changes in the federal poverty guidelines. The current higher-income levels mean that more customers can now qualify. The new income guidelines based on pre-tax annual income are as follows:
Number of People Per Household/Previous Income Levels/New Income Levels
1 or 2 / $28,600 / $29,300
3 / $33,600 / $34,400
4 / $40,500 / $41,500
5 / $47,400 / $48,600
6 / $54,300 / $55,700
Add $7,100 for each additional household member.
To learn more about this and other programs offered to low-income, disabled and senior-citizen customers, visit www.pge.com/care or call (866) PGE-CARE.