CARE Residential Single Family Program Frequently Asked Questions

How long does the discount last?

You will receive the discount for two years (or four years if you are on a fixed income).  Three months before your discount expires, you will receive a letter and re-certification application from PG&E giving you the opportunity to reapply if you still qualify under the current program guidelines.

Do I have to show proof of income when I apply?

Proof of income is not required during the application process.  However, you may be randomly selected for income verification at a later date.

How soon will the discount take effect?

The CARE discount will appear on your bill after the completion of a full billing cycle.

How will I know when the discount has been applied to my bill?

On the left side of the first page of your bill under "Special Account information" it will state "CARE - Discount Rate". Also, the Gas Account Detail section and Electric Account Detail section list the CARE discount as a separate line item. View the sample bill (PDF, 710 KB).

If my family shares a meter with another home, can both of our households apply together?

No. Each family must be separately metered in order to receive the CARE discount.

If my family has been denied CARE benefits before, how soon can we reapply?

Pacific Gas and Electric Company encourages families to reapply whenever their income situation changes. Proof of income is required if you reapply within 24 months of being denied CARE benefits. Please visit the program guidelines page for the current information as the income guidelines change in June of each year.

I received a letter requesting me to mail in proof of income. What do I need to do?

Follow the instructions on the letter you received by listing all members of your household, completing the form, and providing copies of income document(s) for every member of your household who has income. When finished, mail or fax the completed form and documents to the CARE program in the envelope provided.

What do I need to send as proof of income?

Please review our Required Income Document Guide for examples of income documents. Depending upon your situation and various ways that you and your household members receive income, you may have to send more than one document.

I just received a call from PG&E reminding me to submit income documentation. What should I do?

As a courtesy, a reminder call will be made 15 days after the verification letter is mailed, to remind you that you are required to provide income documents in order to remain on the CARE program. This call is helpful in case you did not receive the letter or it was misplaced.

I received a letter indicating I was missing information or documentation, and I must supply that information before my CARE application is approved. What do I need to do?

Review the letter you received, as it indicated the type of documentation needed. Gather this documentation and mail it to the CARE program in the envelope provided.

My deadline is coming up, and I want to make sure I get my income proof submitted. How much time do I have before I am removed from CARE?

If your documents are not received by the specified date in the verification letter, you will be removed from the CARE program following your next billing cycle and your energy charges may increase as a result.

I was removed from CARE because I missed the verification deadline, can I reapply?

In order to re-enroll in the CARE program, you will need to mail in proof of income as was requested on the original verification letter. If you submitted documentation and received a letter indicating your documents were incomplete, you will need to mail in the requested documents to the CARE program in the envelope provided.

Why was I denied enrollment or removed from the CARE program?

Customers can be denied enrollment or removed from the CARE program for the following reasons:

  • Did not meet the program eligibility guidelines.
  • Household income exceeded the income guidelines.
  • Ineligible type of meter.
  • Failure to recertify in the program (you must be recertified every 2 years, or 4 years for fixed income households).
  • You were asked to provide proof of income and either was denied, didn’t respond in time, or didn’t respond with complete paperwork.

I reapplied after my CARE discount dropped off of my account. Will I receive a retroactive discount on my energy charges for the time between my enrollments in the program?

Retroactive discounts are not provided on charges incurred while not enrolled in the CARE program. However, if you are interested in creating a payment plan or discussing your options for payment of your energy charges, please call 1-800-743-5000.

What is the difference between the CARE and FERA programs?

Though the CARE and FERA programs provide a monthly discount on energy bills for income-qualified households, they are mutually exclusive. CARE has lower income guidelines than FERA. When you submit an application for CARE, you will be automatically evaluated for the FERA program if you don’t qualify under the CARE income guidelines and vice versa. The discounts for these two programs are different. The CARE program offers a minimum of 20% discount on both gas and electricity rates. The FERA program offers a tier discount (on Tier 3 usage) for electricity and doesn’t offer a discount on gas rates.

If you have additional questions, call the CARE program at 1-866-743-2273 or email