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Programs to help pay your power bill during the pandemic

Several programs are available if you are struggling to pay your electric bill during the coronavirus pandemic.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As the coronavirus pandemic stretches on, a growing number of people are falling behind on their bills. We've heard from many of you looking for help.

"Since the start of the pandemic, I'm falling short paying my PG&E bill, with no possible way of paying my $800.00 electric bill. Please help me figure this out." - Craig, West Sacramento

If you have PG&E, you want to make sure you qualify for the California Alternate Rates for Energy. CARE helps low-income customers receive a 30-35% discount on their electric bill and a 20% discount on their natural gas bill. You may also qualify for CARE if you are enrolled in programs like Medicaid, WIC, or food stamps. 

If your income slightly exceeds the CARE income brackets, you may qualify for the Family Electric Rate Assistance Program. FERA can provide a 18% discount on your electricity bill. 

People that are struggling financially to pay their power bill may qualify for up to $1,000 in financial assistance towards their energy bill under the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP).

If you have SMUD, you may qualify for the Energy Assistance Program Rate program to help pay your bill. 

EAPR provides a monthly discount for qualified, low-income customers.  

Customers between 0% and 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) would receive the largest monthly discounts. EAPR customers with a household income between 100% and 200% of the FPL would receive smaller discounts.

It's also important to note that PG&E and SMUD will not turn your power off because you can't afford to pay. 

We also have an additional list of resources available broken down by county to help with your bills.

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