Assistance Available to Struggling Homeowners

By EGP News Report

The  Southern California Gas Co.  (SoCalGas) has several programs to help financially struggling homeowners reduce their utility bills and increase energy efficiency, and is urging customers in need of help to sign up and start saving.

“I recently went through some tough times financially and thanks to SoCalGas and the CARE program, they were able to give me some relief on my monthly bill,” said Gwendolyn Allen, Antelope Valley resident and SoCalGas customer in a statement released by the company.

Allen qualified for the California Alternate Rate for Energy (CARE) program, which provides a 20-percent rate discount on the monthly natural gas bill for eligible households.

Customers could be automatically eligible if they or a household member currently receive Medical/Medicaid, Healthy Families A & B, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), CalFresh/SNAP Food Stamps, or other similar assistance, according to a SoCalGas news release.

Customers having trouble paying their utility bill on time should call and find out more about SoCalGas’ cost cutting programs, or how to set up an affordable payment plan, said Hal D. Snyder, vice president of customer solutions.

In addition to CARE, SoCalGas offers a wide range of assistance programs for qualifying customers on a limited income or with special medical needs:
—The Energy Savings Assistance Program provides energy-saving home improvements, such as weather stripping, attic insulation, low-flow showerheads and high-efficiency appliance replacement to some income-qualified renters and homeowners.

—The Medical Baseline Allowance program offers customers with certain medical conditions who require more heating to sustain their health, may qualify for additional natural gas at the lowest baseline rate. There are no income requirements, but a doctor certification is needed.

SoCalGas offers hundreds of dollars in rebates for the purchase of energy-efficient appliances and can provide customers with a free energy and water-saving kit that includes three faucet aerators and a low-flow showerhead. Customers can enroll in the assistance programs by visiting SoCalGas’ website, socalgas.com/assistance or by calling toll-free at (800) 427-2200 or (800) 342-4545 in Spanish. To learn how to conserve energy at home, customers can visit socalgas.com/energyefficiency.

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August 11, 2011  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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