Thousands of income-eligible customers in the North Coast could save 18% on their monthly electric bill by enrolling in Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) Program.
The FERA program gives discounts on electricity bills to income-qualified households of three or more individuals, but thousands of eligible customers have not yet signed up for the program, and are missing out on significant savings.
PG&E estimates a total of 3,199 households in Lake, Mendocino and Humboldt counties could save on their monthly bills by enrolling in FERA.
“PG&E continues to partner with agencies in our hometowns to reach eligible customers as the FERA program remains underutilized. We hope the remaining eligible customers will learn more about the program and apply today,” said Aaron August, PG&E Vice President of Business Development & Customer Engagement.
Less than 25% of eligible PG&E households are currently enrolled in the program in Northern and Central California, with an estimated 174,219 eligible and only 39,907 enrolled.
Some may overlook FERA thinking it only applies to families or that income qualifications are the same as a similar monthly energy discount program, California Alternate Rates for Energy Program (CARE). In fact, any income-qualified household that does not qualify for CARE may be eligible for FERA as it has higher income guidelines.
Customers who apply for CARE and don’t qualify are automatically evaluated for FERA. Customers cannot be enrolled in both programs. CARE offers a higher monthly discount of 20 percent or more on both gas and electricity.
FERA applications can be found online or visit a local community agency located throughout PG&E’s service area to pick up a paper application. Applying can be easy and only takes about five minutes. Eligible customers begin receiving the FERA program discount in their next billing cycle once their application is approved.
Customers who meet income requirements for FERA and CARE may also qualify for the Energy Savings Assistance Program offering free energy-saving improvements to maximize energy efficiency in the home. With recent changes to the federal income guidelines, even more customers are eligible.
Every year, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) adjusts the qualifying income levels for FERA to reflect changes in the federal poverty guidelines. FERA is funded through a rate surcharge paid for by all utility customers.
For more financial assistance program support visit pge.com/billhelp.