February 2, 2001

Greenlining/Latino Issues Forum Contact: (415) 284-7223

ROSEMEAD, Calif., Feb. 2, 2001-Beginning this month, Southern California Edison (SCE) customers will begin seeing a temporary 1-cent-per-kilowatt-hour surcharge on their electric bills, which amounts to a 9% increase, or about $5 more on an average residential bill.
The surcharge was ordered by the California Public Utilities Commission, to help cover the high cost of wholesale electric power, which has skyrocketed during the past year.  The surcharge, which is in effect through April 5, is the first increase for SCE customers in six years.  

Customers can manage their bills by conserving electricity wherever they can.  For those whose incomes qualify, the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program offers a 15% discount on their electricity bill.  In addition, CARE customers are exempt from the temporary surcharge.  A CARE application and additional information about the state power crisis and the temporary surcharge will be included in SCE's electric bills through February 22. 

SCE is working with the Greenlining Institute, Latino Issues Forum, a broad cross section of other community-based organizations in its service area, and the local media to increase awareness of the CARE program and the benefits it offers to income-qualified customers.

The income guidelines for participation in the CARE program are:

Number of Persons in Household  Maximum Gross Annual Income

                              1-2                   $18,200 
                                  3                   $21,500
                                  4                   $25,800
                                  5                   $30,100

For households with more than 5 persons, add $4,300 to the gross annual income total for each additional person residing in the household.

For information about CARE and ways to conserve energy, call 1-800-447-6620 (English and Spanish), 1-800-843-1309 (Cambodian), 1-800-843-8343 (Chinese), 1-800- 262-4125 (Japanese), 1-800-628-3061 (Korean), and 1-800-327-3031 (Vietnamese).           

# # #

An Edison International company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation's largest electric utilities, serving a population of more than 11 million via 4.3 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile area within central, coastal and Southern California. For more information on the California electricity crisis, see "sce.com."