Recent research by San Diego Gas & Electric determined that approximately 15 percent of customers eligible for the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) Program – which offers a significant savings each month in utility costs – are not currently enrolled.

Throughout the service territory there are currently 300,424 residents currently enrolled in the CARE program, which can reduce monthly bills by as much as 35 percent. About 55,000 residents are eligible but not currently enrolled, according to SDG&E. Even more might now be eligible because the income guidelines were raised June 1.

“The CARE program is designed to provide relief for those that need it right now and we want all of the eligible customers to take advantage of this savings,” said Hal Synder, SDG&E vice president of customer solutions. “SDG&E is actively reaching out to customers through direct mail, phone calls, door-to-door campaigns and more to educate possible CARE recipients. We make it easy to enroll by not requiring income verification so customers can quickly submit their application and start taking advantage of the cost savings within about 30 days of being approved.”

Eligibility is based on the number of people living in the house and total yearly income, or participation by any person in the household in one of these public assistance programs: Medi-Cal; Food Stamps; TANF; Women, Infants & Children (WIC); Healthy Families, Categories A and B, or LIHEAP. The new income guidelines as of June 1, 2011 are:

[heading]Household Members/CARE

1-2/$31,800

3/$37,400

4/$45,100

5/$52,800

6$60,500

Each Additional Member/add $7,700

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“I would definitely recommend this program to others and feel very thankful to SDG&E for providing this discount,” said current SDG&E customer and CARE recipient Maggie Comans.

For more information on customer assistance programs, or to apply for CARE online, visit www.sdge.com/residential/assistance, email: billdiscount@sdge.com or call 1-800-411-SDGE (7343).