The summer heat is getting hotter, and the temperatures become difficult to bear for a while. And then we are forced at home to turn on the air conditioning and one or two fans, in order to survive these heat waves that are increasingly constant and prolonged. In the state of California, where energy is managed by Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), the customers can request the LIHEAP financial assistance.
That aid comes in the shape of Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), a federal-funded program to help American households to deal with the rising prices of utility bills. The California Department of Community Services and Development oversees this fantastic program, which is administered by nonprofit agencies. These organizations care about improving the customers’ quality of life, and will consider various factors such as your income, household size, and place of residence to determine your eligibility.
California’s PG&E customers: How to apply for the LIHEAP benefits
To qualify for LIHEAP assistance in California, applicants must meet specific qualification criteria. The primary factor considered is the household’s income, which should fall within certain limits based on family size. Other factors, such as household composition and energy expenses, are also considered during the eligibility assessment.
Applying is an easy-to-complete process. Applicants can choose between applying online through the official website or submitting a paper application to their local LIHEAP agency. The online option offers convenience, allowing applicants to apply from the comfort of their homes, while the paper application can be mailed or submitted in person.
CARE and FERA programs in California: Alternatives to the LIHEAP
During the LIHEAP application process, applicants must provide documentation to support their eligibility claims. Commonly required documents include proof of income, identification, utility bills, and information about household members. Ensuring the accuracy and completeness of these documents is important to avoid delays in processing the application.
Another program that you may apply to is the California Alternative Rates for Energy (CARE) program, which can provide qualifying families with a monthly saving of 20% or more of their energy bills. The application process takes about five minutes, and eligible customers will start receiving the CARE program discount in their next billing cycle.
If those don’t work for you, the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program is available for income-qualified households with three or more people. Eligible applicants could get up to 18% discount in their electric bill.
PG&E’s customers could apply for the REACH program
PG&E has taken a proactive approach to support its income-qualified customers through the Relief for Energy Assistance through Community Help (REACH) program. Through this program, PG&E provides financial assistance of up to $500 to eligible customers who have past-due bills and are going through difficult times.
The REACH program not only offers much-needed relief but also fosters a sense of community help and support, promoting a brighter future for everyone. To apply for REACH financial support, customers can easily access the application process in this website.
Santa Barbara City could send you up to $15,000 to pay for your past-due or current water bills
The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) another program you could check, if your’e struggling to pay your water bills. As a federally funded initiative, LIHWAP provides a one-time benefit of up to $15,000 per household to cover past-due or current water/sewer bills, in Santa Barbara City.
With service disconnections set to resume in September 2023, and late fees already accruing, eligible low-income households could apply for LIHWAP to avoid potential financial difficulties. The program is intended to provide assistance to those who genuinely need it and is not limited to any specific demographic. Families facing problems, seniors on fixed incomes, and individuals experiencing temporary setbacks are all welcome to apply for this beneficial program.
Applying for LIHWAP is a straightforward process. Low-income customers can visit the official website at https://www.csd.ca.gov/waterbill to access the application form and detailed instructions, as well as the detailed required papers and documents.