April 21, 2009
ROSEMEAD, Calif., April 21, 2009 — 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, includes two Southern California resource fairs for customers. Southern California Edison’s (SCE’s) will be on Thursday, April 23 in Long Beach; Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas) and the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) will hold one on Friday, April 24 in Los Angeles. Other utilities throughout the state will hold 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 will be available to share their information. Local dignitaries, commissioners from the CPUC and utility executives will be on hand for interviews. In addition, there will be live radio remotes, entertainment and giveaways.
WE CARE CALIFORNIA RESOURCE FAIRS – SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Thursday, April 23, 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday, April 24, 2 p.m. - 8 p.m.
Media Contact: Southern California Gas Co., Raul Gordillo, (877) 866-2066
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE:EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 13 million via 4.8 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.
About Southern California Gas Company
Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years. It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing safe and reliable energy to 20.5 million consumers through 5.7 million meters in more than 500 communities. The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles in diverse terrain throughout Central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border. The Gas Company is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE). Sempra Energy, based in San Diego, is a Fortune 500 energy services holding company.