March 2, 2007

CENTRAL VALLEY, Calif., March 2, 2007—Recognizing the extraordinary circumstances and ongoing challenges faced by many growers and farm workers dealing with a January freeze that devastated California crops last month, Southern California Edison (SCE) today announced it was donating $150,000 to various United Way chapters striving to help freeze victims.

The money will be distributed in both Central and Southern California.  Recipients include:  United Way of Tulare County, $75,000; United Way of Kern County, $20,000; United Way of the Inland Valleys, $20,000; and United Way of Ventura County, $35,000.

“We want to help ease the financial strain within the hard-hit agriculture communities we serve,” said Lynda Ziegler, SCE’s senior vice president for customer service.  “We’re also encouraging residential customers whose jobs have been impacted by the freeze to seek assistance through our Energy Assistance Fund (EAF)/Rate Relief Assistance Program.”

More than $14 million have been donated over the years to EAF to help more than 180,000 customers.  EAF funds are tax deductible donations made by utility customers, including SCE employees, and matched dollar-for-dollar by shareholders of Edison International, SCE’s parent company.

Households with incomes within 400% of federal poverty guidelines can request bill payment assistance of up to $150.   More information is available at or by calling (800) 205-8596.

SCE also has implemented a payment-deferral program to assist growers whose crops were destroyed by the freeze.  Eligible growers can defer, without incurring late payment charges, up to 50 percent of each electricity bill incurred during the 12-month deferral period, beginning with their February 2007 bill. 

Customers also can contact SCE at (800) 655-4555 to request payment arrangements or extensions.  Other SCE bill payment assistance programs available to SCE customers

  • California Alternate Rates for Energy program: customers who meet income guidelines established by the state can apply for a 20% discount on their electric bill. For applications, please call (800) 798-5723.
  • Energy Management Assistance Program: free services to help low-income households reduce their energy use.  For assistance, please call (800) 736-4777.
  • SCE’s Level-Payment Plan: spreads payments evenly throughout the year.  To enroll, please call (800) 434-2365
  • Medical Baseline Allocation: for customers requiring electric life-support, mobility equipment, or those with certain medical conditions.  For information, please call (800) 655-4555.

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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 4.7 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within central, coastal and Southern California.