Approximately 113,000 San Diego Gas & Electric customers who fell behind in paying their energy bills during the initial years of the COVID-19 pandemic recently received debt relief through the California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP), which erased a total of $51.3 million in overdue balances they incurred between March 4, 2020 and December 31, 2021. CAPP funds were automatically applied to eligible customers’ accounts over the weekend, according to eligibility rules set by the state. The amount of CAPP credit will be shown on customers’ next bill.
This is the second round of CAPP funding that SDG&E, working in collaboration with local Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) programs, has applied for and secured from the state to assist their mutual customers. The first round of funding was credited to more than 93,000 eligible customers’ accounts in February 2022, eliminating $62.5 million in overdue bills incurred between March 4, 2020, and June 15, 2021.
“In addition to the state’s CAPP debt relief program, I want our customers to know that there many other assistance programs available to them,” said SDG&E Vice President of Customer Services Dana Golan. “We are committed to helping our customers who are experiencing financial hardships due to high winter energy bills.”
To date, CAPP has provided a total of $113.8 million in debt relief to customers served by SDG&E and local CCAs, including San Diego Community Power and Clean Energy Alliance.
In recent days, SDG&E credited the second round of CAPP funds to customers’ accounts and was able offset 100% of each eligible customer’s outstanding pandemic period arrearages incurred between March 4, 2020, and Dec. 31, 2021. If an active customer’s outstanding balance was $100, they would have received $100 to offset their outstanding balances. SDG&E is notifying eligible customers via email and letters in the mail, if the CAPP funds credited to their account are more than $10. A message will also be included on eligible customers’ bills to let them know that CAPP funds have been applied to their accounts.
CAPP is intended to help residential utility customers who fell behind on their energy bills because of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. The program is funded by the state budget and is administered by the California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD). Utilities statewide applied for the funds through CSD on behalf of their customers. Customers do not have to be on a low-income program to be eligible for the CAPP funds. For answers to frequently asked questions about CAPP, please visit: California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP) | San Diego Gas & Electric (sdge.com)
Additional Customer Assistance Programs
SDG&E offers a wide variety of customer assistance programs, ranging from bill discounts and payment plans to energy efficiency upgrades that help with long-term bill savings. Recently, SDG&E announced the expansion of its Neighbor-to-Neighbor utility payment assistance program, which is making available $1 million available in shareholder dollars to offset overdue bills for customers who are at least three months or more behind on payment and do not qualify for the federal Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). Visit sdge.com/assistance, a one-stop-shop for information about assistance programs administered by SDG&E and other entities.