Energy Efficiency Programs

Reduce Utility Rate & Rebate Programs

For Low-Income, Seniors, Disabled and Home Owners

                        Offered Through Your Local Gas & Electric Company & Government

                                         Discount Programs Available through your Local

                                           Utility Company to Save Energy in your Home.

Almost all the nation’s utility companies – gas, electric and phones – sponsor programs for low-in-come consumers that could cut rates by 20 percent or more. You don’t have to be destitute either. A temporary job loss can qualify you for some relief.

There are programs for low-income consumers that are funded by all ratepayers. You have to ask about them.

When it comes to electric and gas programs, 40 states including California have state-sponsored consumer advocates for utility customers. These state offices can be the first stop for those needing help with all types of utility bills.

A directory of the advocate offices is available through the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates. Many of the Programs are listed below.

The federal government also sponsors the low-income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which helps income-qualified individuals pay heat and electric bills.

The difficulty for consumers is that the funds are distributed through local community organizations and government agencies that are not always easy to find.

However, utilities themselves are generally familiar with all of the options affecting their customers. Most provide information on their web sites and through consumer help lines. But you have to be proactive and call them to get the assistance.

California Alternate Rate for Energy, or CARE provides discounts of 20 percent or more for income-qualifying customers on both gas and electric bills. The income limits for program like CARE typically are tied to the federal poverty guidelines or to average income in your area. In this case, a single rate payer would qualify if he or she earns up to $30,500 annually; a family of four would qualify with up to $43,200 in income.

California Incentives-Policies for Renewables & Efficiency

PG&E Reduced Rate Programs;

CARE (California Alternate Rates for Energy)

Rate for Low-Income

Program provides a 20% discount on your monthly gas and/or electric bill for qualifying households. You cannot have an outstanding bill when applying for Reduced Monthly Rates programs. For an application call Toll Free (866) 743-2273. Website:


1 or 2 persons $30,500 annually

3 persons $35,800 annually

4 persons $43,200 annually

5 persons $50,600 annually

6 persons $58,000 annually

Each additional person $ 7,400 annually

Medical Baseline Allowance for disabled persons with special heating/air-conditioning needs or medical equipment. Requires physician’s certificate of essential need. For an application call

Toll Free (866) 743-2273.

FERA (Family Electric Rate Assistance: Program provides savings on your electric bill for large households of three or more persons with low-to-middle income. The PG&E bill must be in your name. You must live at the address where the discount will be received..You cannot have an outstanding bill when applying for Reduced Monthly Rates programs. For an application call Toll Free (800) 743-5000. Website:


1 or 2 persons Not Eligible

3 persons $35,801 – $44,800 annually

4 persons $43,201 – $54,000 annually

5 persons $50,601 – $63,200 annually

6 persons $58,001 – $72,400 annually

Each additional person $7,400 – $9,200 annually

California Lifeline Telephone Program

Qualified households could save 50 percent on their monthly basic phone bill, plus they do not pay certain monthly surcharges and fees. Contact the LifeLine Call Center for general information about the California LifeLine program. The LifeLine Call Center can also help find telephone companies that offer California LifeLine and connect consumers to these California LifeLine approved telephone companies.

Toll Free: English (866) 272-0349 Spanish (866) 272-0350



1-2 people $24,000 annually

3 people $28,200 annually

4 people $34,000 annually

Each additional person $ 5,800 annually


SMUD Reduced Rate Programs

Energy Assistance Program Rate (EAPR): Qualified customers that meet the income guidelines for EAPR will save more than 30 percent on their monthly electric bill. For an application in either English or Spanish, call Toll Free at (866) 742- SMUD (7683).



1 to 2 persons $30,500 annually/ $2,542 monthly

3 persons $35,800 annually/ $2,983 monthly

4 persons $43,200 annually/ $3,600 monthly

5 persons $50,600 annually/ $4,217 monthly

6 persons $58,000 annually/ $4,833 monthly

Each additional person $ 7,400 annually/ $ 617 monthly

Medical Equipment Discount or MED Rate: If you or a full-time resident of your household requires an electrically powered device for medical reasons, SMUD’s MED RATE can save you more than 30 percent on your monthly electric bill. For an application in either English or Spanish, call Toll Free (888) 742-7683. Website:

Budget Bill: Customers with higher winter or summer bills can request to have their annual bills divided into 12 monthly payments. Call Toll Free at (888) 742-7683. Website:



Homeowner and Renter Assistance (California Franchise Tax Board)

Provides partial rebate of property taxes (or portion of rent presumed to be paid for taxes).

Filing period: Begins July 1 Not Accepting Applications At This Time

Eligibility: Age 62 or disabled or blind.

Household Income: $44,096 or less

For an application call Toll Free (800) 868-4171. Website:


Property Tax Postponement (California State Controller)

Provides for postponement of property taxes until person moves, sells, dies, or changes title.

Filing period: July 1- October 15 Program Is Currently Suspended

Eligibility: Age 62 or disabled or blind

Income: $37,119 maximum annually

Call Toll Free (800) 952-5661. Website:

Sacramento City Utility Users Rebate of Utility Tax

Filing period: January 1 – March 16, 2012

Eligibility: Sacramento City residents

Income: less than $25,000 annually

For an application call (916) 808-7736

Need proof of paid utility tax, proof of income, picture ID and copy of utility bill.


Sewer Lifeline Rate Assistance Program (SLRAP)

The Sacramento Regional County Sanitation District (SRCSD) offers eligible low-income customers a discount on their sewer bills. Customers can save up to $100 per year on the Regional portion of their sewer bill. No need to reapply for five years.

Call (916) 875-5000 or go online to apply.




1 to 2 persons $35,313 annually/$2,859 monthly

3 persons $40,275 annually/$3,356 monthly

4 persons $48,600 annually/$4,050 monthly

5 persons $56,925 annually/$4,746 monthly

6 persons $65,250 annually/$5,438 monthly

Each additional person $ 8,325 annually/$694 monthly


“Cash for caulkers” program.

President Obama has outlined the details of the “cash for caulkers” program.

With a price tag of about $6 billion, the program will provide incentives for folks to make their homes more energy efficient. Whether its new insulation, energy efficient windows (which I can tell you from personal experience can save you a small fortune in energy costs), or any other major or minor energy upgrade, the new program is designed to stimulate job growth and help consumers save a few bucks on energy costs.

There’s no doubt that improving efficiency is one of the easiest and quickest solutions to our energy woes. And I suspect there will be few political obstacles on this one.

But the very real benefits of energy savings could still make this program worthwhile.

Long-term economic sustainability depends on smart energy decisions today. Making our homes more energy efficient is definitely a step in the right direction.

The “Cash for Caulkers” program may not be approved until later this year, but try telling that to the home insulation market. ENERGY-STAR created a huge opportunity in the home insulation segment by educating consumers on the cost savings that occur by caulking and sealing air leaks and will lead the market to a phenomenal 25% increase in 2010, SBI Energy states.


mPower Program

Placer County to spark energy upgrade. Placer County will launch an AB 811 financing program designed to spur property owners to invest in energy – and water- conserving improvements, with payments wrapped into a parcel’s property-tax bill and spread over varying years. Placer’s mPower – short for Money for Property Owner and Water Energy efficiency Retrofitting -is using 33 million of the county treasury’s roughly $1 billion in deposits to fund the first round of loans.

Visit the mPower program web site for more information: