CPUC Joins Utilities to Create “We CARE California”

 

Rosemead , CA : As a way to raise awareness about programs that help income-qualified utility customers save money on their bills, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has joined with utilities to create “We CARE California.”

The weeklong campaign, which began with a kickoff event on Monday in Bakersfield, included two Southern California resource fairs for customers. Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) was organized on Thursday, April 23 in Long Beach; Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) held one on Friday, April 24 in Los Angeles. Other utilities throughout the state held similar events during the week.

There are at least 900,000 utility customers throughout the state who may be eligible for programs to reduce energy bills by 20 percent or more. One such program is the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program, which offers qualifying customers a 20 percent discount on their utility bill. Other programs, the Energy Management Assistance and Direct Assistance Programs, help income-qualified households conserve energy and reduce their electrical and heating costs. SCE and SoCalGas supply and install energy-efficient appliances and equipment at no cost to eligible customers. Both programs are available to homeowners and renters.

“As in most endeavors, education and awareness are paramount to the success of these programs. We encourage all of our customers – especially the newly unemployed – to find out if they qualify for discounts on their bill. We want them to know that we are here to help,” said Lynda Ziegler, senior vice president of Customer Service for SCE.

“The Gas Company is focused on getting help quickly to families that have never been in this kind of financial situation and might never have had to ask for help in paying their bills,” said Hal D. Snyder, vice president of Customer Solutions at SoCalGas. “We want to ensure that they are aware of our programs and enroll as soon as possible.”

At the resource fairs, representatives from community-based organizations, telephone and water companies, and financial assistance and counseling services were available to share their information. Local dignitaries, commissioners from the CPUC and utility executives were on hand for interviews. In addition, there were radio remotes, entertainment and giveaways.

 

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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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