Utility Bill Assistance



Find assistance in California for your utility and electric bills.

Energy, heating, and cooling bill assistance is available in California from the government, utility companies, non-profits, and other places. The programs range from payment plans to grants to pay energy bills as well as weatherization (conservation) measures.

While most of the financial aid is for low income families, there can be emergency utility bill assistance given in a crisis. The state of California also regulates energy providers to ensure that disconnections and electricity cut-offs are minimized. Find more information below.

State of California and federal government utility bill assistance programs

Low-income consumers in California are protected from rate increases and they are able to get help in many different ways. California will also provides financial assistance to help low-income households with their utility bills and to also help pay their energy costs and heating bills. The State of California will also cover some of your costs for home energy emergency repairs.

Some utilities in California offer the CARE Program, which will provide assistance in the form of monthly gas and electric bill discounts to lower income households:

  • If you have medical needs that make your utility bills too expensive to pay, you may qualify for an additional discount.
  • If your utility account is past-due, immediately call your utility provider to arrange a payment plan. To help you keep track of your bill, always name a friend or relative to receive a notice of any past-due payment.
  • Some utilities also offer level payment plans that will even out the highs and lows in your bill to help you budget your monthly energy costs accordingly.
  • Read more on the CARE program.





Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) Program:
This program provides free weatherization services to low-income households in California who meet the ESA guidelines. The services provided will include insulating homeowners attics, providing energy efficient refrigerators and energy efficient furnaces, low-flow shower heads, weather stripping, caulking, water heater blankets, and door. Most of these services are free and will go a long way towards providing help with electric bills in the form of lower utility bills.

Laws and rules that prevent utility disconnections
New rules and regulations in California make it more difficult for utility and gas companies to turn off service. Learn more on the laws and rules.

LIHEAP and Weatherization is federal government funded. Grants can help pay utility bills or pay for conservation measures on a home. There is assistance for families in or near poverty, seniors, immigrants, and the disabled among others. Call a local community action agency.

Utility company programs

Alameda Power & Telecom - Energy Assistance through Supportive Efforts (EASE)
This will provide a one-time energy bill assistance grant for an unpaid bill. They also have the Energy Assistance Program (EAP), which is a discount program. Click more information.

Anaheim Public Utilities Department - One-time emergency assistance payment is available. The main program is known as Helping Hands and it is for low income customers and senior citizens. Learn more.

All of these Burbank Water and Power, Redding Electric Utility, Riverside Public Utilities, Southwest Gas offer the Energy Share or SHARE program. It is an utility bill assistance program that provides help to families with a financial emergency.

  • Burbank Power relies on donations from its customers to fund the SHARE program, and the focus is on people that are most at risk if their power was shut off. Read more.
  • Redding Electric SHARE is operated by Golden Umbrella. They collect donations and provide assistance for energy bills to qualified families. Read more.





City of Palo Alto Utilities - Project PLEDGE is a one-time annual emergency grant. Families in need may also be able to receive Residential Rate Assistance Program (RRAP), which is up to a twenty percent discount on utility bills. Continue reading Project Pledge assistance.

City of Santa Clara - Rate Assistance Program (RAP) provides a lower utility bill rate.

City of Ukiah - R.E.A.C.H. Emergency utility bill assistance is available. They also offer qualified customers the C.A.R.E.S. program, discounts for seniors, and help in paying utility bills for homes that need to run medical equipment. More details on City of Ukiah utility bill assistance.

Glendale Water & Power - Helping Hand, Cool Care, and Senior Care are some of the assistance programs for low income customers. One time cash grants for paying deposits or utility bills, and free refrigerators are offered to those in need. More on GWP Helping Hands.

Lodi Electric Utility - Single Household Alternative Rate for Energy (SHARE). Up to a thirty percent reduction on utility bills to families who need assistance in California.

Long Beach Energy - Low-Income Gas Discount Program will provide assistance with gas bills. Waivers of fees are also available.

Los Angeles Department of Water and Power - Residential Low-Income Rate will provide up to a 15% discount. Project Angel helps lower income and the elderly. Several other financial assistance programs are offered to. Read more Los Angeles Department of Water and Power assistance programs.

Oxnard - For residents of the city, there is a donation rate program that helps pay utility bills. Money from the community is used by immigrants, farm workers, and low income families. All funds go to pay energy and other bills. Read more.

Pacific Gas & Electric and San Diego Gas & Electric - Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) - This is a utility bill assistance rate reduction plan for large households that have three or more people that are low to middle income. It is designed for customers who may not be eligible for the CARE discount program.

Medical Baseline Program - For customers who are dependent on life support equipment or those with special cooling or heating needs. They may be eligible for up to 500 kWh of electricity and eligible for up to 25 therms of natural gas per month at the lowest price, as well as other benefits and assistance for utility bills.

Pacific Power - Project HELP is an energy bill assistance program that covers families in California and offers financial aid. Another option is the regional Energy Partners Program, which provides energy saving improvements. Click more information.




Pasadena Water and Power - Project A.P.P.L.E. (Assisting Pasadena People with Limited Emergencies) provides a one time grant for paying electric bills that are in arrears. The second program is Electric Utility Assistance Program (EUAP), which is a recurring credit to assist families in need of help with utility bills. Find more details.

Pacific Gas and Electric - REACH is assistance with bills in the form of a one time grant. Find additional PG&E utility assistance programs.

Riverside Public Utilities - UtiliCare provides assistance by lowering families rates, and the WE CARE assistance program helps with discounted or free in-home weatherization services.

Roseville Electric - Electric Rate Assistance Program provides up to 15% savings on bills.

Sacramento Municipal Utility District - Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR) is an assistance program that offers up to a 30% savings on bills.

San Diego Gas & Electric
The Energy Team will assist with utility bills by providing free energy-saving home improvements such as new energy-efficient appliances and various other measures to those with low and limited incomes, as well as seniors who meet specific income guidelines. There are also donations used for paying energy bills. More information.

Sierra Pacific Power Company - Special Assistance Fund for Energy (S.A.F.E.) assists lower income customers with utility bills.

Silicon Valley Power - Residential Rate Assistance Program (RAP) will provide up to 25% savings on energy bills.

Southern California Edison - Energy Assistance Fund (EAF) is an utility bill assistance fund that was created to provide grants and help with paying utility bills. This program also goes by the name of the Family Electric Rate Assistance program. Read more on these two programs.

In addition, the Energy Management Assistance Program will assist  lower income families with saving money on their utilities. Free conservation measures will be installed in a home or apartment.





Southern California Gas
Through the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, they will provide eligible customers up to a 20 percent discount on natural gas and electric bills. They also have the Direct Assistance Program, which is a free weatherization and furnace replacement or repair service for qualified limited-income customers. They also offer a host of other assistance programs. Click here to read more on the various options and resources available to customers.

By: Jon McNamara


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