Urgent Alert

California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)

Long-term monthly discounts on your energy bills

Apply for a monthly discount through CARE.

The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program is a monthly discount of 20% or more on gas and electricity. Participants qualify by meeting income guidelines or enrolling in certain public assistance programs.

 

important notice icon Note: CARE and FERA share one application. If you do not qualify for CARE, we will check to see if you qualify for FERA. Learn more about FERA. In addition, other financial assistance resources and support are available.

Eligibility

Compare CARE and FERA income guidelines

 

*Income should be before taxes and based on current income sources. Valid through May 31, 2025.

Enrollment

Post-enrollment verification

Proof of income

Proof of income is not required when you apply for CARE.

  • You may be selected to provide income verification at any time.
  • If we do not hear from you by the date specified in the letter, your discount will be removed. 

Questions?

Email CAREandFERA@pge.com.

  1. Download the verification form:
  2. To submit online, sign into your accountor 

 

Mail or fax the completed documents to:

PG&E CARE/FERA program
PO BOX 29647
Oakland, CA 94604-9647

Fax: 1-877-302-7563

Who is selected for high usage post-enrollment verification? 

  • Customers whose energy usage exceeds 400% of their Baseline Allowance three times in a 12-month period.
    • The California Public Utilities Commission requires that you participate in the Program High Usage Post-Enrollment Verification process.

 

  • You must submit documentation within 45 days of our request to verify your income. Failing to do so may result in the loss of your discount.

 

Follow these steps:
 

  1. Download a CARE high usage post-enrollment verification form: CARE High Usage Form (PDF)
    • Forms in languages other than English can be found in the drawers below.
  2. To submit it online, sign into your accountor
     

    Mail or fax the completed documents to:

    PGE CARE/FERA program
    PO BOX 29647
    Oakland, CA 94604-9647

    Fax: 1-877-302-7563

     

  3. CARE customers must enroll in the Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) program
    • The ESA program provides energy-efficient home improvements at no cost. 
    • The California Public Utilities Commission requires that CARE customers participate in the ESA program. 

Enroll in the ESA program

Forms and guides

CARE resources

Scroll down to find the following PDF documents:

  • CARE enrollment print applications
  • CARE enrollment sub-metered tenants print applications
  • Other CARE print applications
  • Post-enrollment verification request forms
  • Post-enrollment verification forms for high usage
  • Guide to required income documentation
  • Understand your bill
  • Baseline allowance
  • Money-saving tips

Most forms are available in:

  • English
  • Large-print English
  • Español
  • 中文
  • Việt

Frequently asked questions

CARE program FAQ

Still have questions? Call 1-866-743-5832 or email CAREandFERA@pge.com.

The discount is applied for two years. If you are on a fixed income, the discount is applied for four years.

  • About three months before the discount expires, PG&E sends a letter and an application. If you still qualify under the current program guidelines at that time, you can reapply.

Proof of income is not required during the application process. However, we may randomly select you to provide income proof at a later date.

The discount will appear on the next bill you receive.

Single-family households:

The phrase: “CARE Discount” appears on the first page of your bill, under the heading, "Your Enrolled Programs." Access a sample bill (PDF).

 

Sub-metered tenants:

  1. We send letters to both tenants and landlords welcoming them to the CARE program.
  2. The landlord is then responsible for passing the CARE discount through to the tenant.
    • The discount should appear on the energy statements that tenants receive from their landlords.

 

Note: The discount should appear on the energy statements that tenants receive from their landlords.

No. Each family must have a separate meter to receive the CARE discount.

We encourage you to reapply whenever your income situation changes. Proof of income is required if you reapply within 24 months of being denied CARE benefits.

 

Note: The income guidelines change each year in June. 

  1. Follow the instructions on the letter you received.
  2. List all members of your household.
  3. Provide copies of income documents for every member of your household with an income. 
  4. Submit your completed documents online. Sign into your account.
    • Documents must be received within 45 days from the date on the letter.

 

You can also send by mail using the postage-paid envelope provided with the letter. Mail to:


PG&E CARE program
PO BOX 29647
Oakland, CA 94604-9647

Or fax: 1-877-302-7563

 

Download the "CARE/FERA Required Income Document Guide" below for examples of acceptable documents.

  • All household members who receive income are required to submit proof of income documents. 
  • Depending upon your situation and the ways that you and your household members receive income, you may have to send more than one document.

 

Download the CARE/FERA Required Income Document Guide - English (PDF)

 

For a guide printed in different languages, go to the "Forms and guides" tab.

PG&E will give you a courtesy call 15 days after we mail the income verification letter.

  • The call is a reminder that you must submit income documents to remain enrolled in the CARE program.

  1. Review the letter for the type of documentation needed.
  2. Gather the documentation.
  3. Mail it to the CARE program in the envelope provided.

If your documents are not received by the date listed in the verification letter, you will be removed from the CARE program.

  • Removal from the program takes effect following the next billing cycle.
  • Your energy charges may increase as a result.

In order to re-enroll in the CARE program, you must mail the proof of income that was requested on the original verification letter.

 

Did you submit documentation and receive a letter indicating that your documents were incomplete? Mail the requested documents to the CARE program in the envelope provided.

You can be denied enrollment or removed from the CARE Program for the following reasons:

  • You didn’t meet the program eligibility guidelines.
  • Your household income exceeds the income guidelines.
  • You have an ineligible meter type.
  • You failed to recertify in the program. You must recertify every two years, or every four years for fixed income households.
  • We asked for proof of income and you were denied, didn’t respond in time or didn’t respond with complete paperwork.

No. You must be enrolled in the CARE program to receive the discount. Retroactive discounts do not apply if you are not enrolled in the CARE program.

The CARE and FERA programs provide a monthly discount for income-qualified households. However, each program offers a different type of energy discount and has different eligibility guidelines:

 

The CARE program offers a minimum 20% discount on gas and electric rates. To qualify for the CARE discount, someone in your household must:

  • Already participate in certain public assistance programs, or
  • Meet the guidelines for total annual household income

 

The FERA program offers an 18% discount on electric rates. FERA does not offer a discount on gas rates. To qualify for the FERA discount, your household must:

  • Have three or more people
  • Meet the guidelines for total annual household income


Note: CARE and FERA share one application. If you do not qualify for CARE, we will check to see if you qualify for FERA.

Yes. CARE, FERA and Medical Baseline are state programs which provide a discounted rate for electricity to qualifying low-income households.

  • These programs are administered to all customers by PG&E, including those who choose to receive service from a CCA.
  • If you’re enrolled in CARE/FERA/Medical Baseline and start service with a CCA, your account will remain enrolled in these programs. You’ll continue to receive your full discount under your new provider.
  • New enrollments and re-enrollments for CARE/FERA/Medical Baseline must be done through PG&E.

Your income eligibility is based on current earnings of all persons living in your household.

  1. Add the total annual income for all people in your household.
  2. Check the income range on the income guidelines table to see if you are eligible for CARE.

 

Only use current and expected income for the next 12 months.

  • Your annual income calculation should not include income earned from prior employment.
    • If you and/or other members of your household have experienced job loss or decreased wages, you may now qualify.

 

UI or PUA payments

Are you receiving Unemployment Insurance (UI) benefits or Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) payments under the Federal CARES act at the time of application?

  • Use your EDD award letter to calculate income based on how many weeks you are scheduled to receive payment.
  • Refer to the "Maximum Benefit Amount". At the time of enrollment, this should be the maximum amount you would be scheduled to receive.

CARE Community Partnerships

PG&E teams up with many groups to help residential customers through the CARE Program.

 

List of outreach contractors:

For a list of our current CARE Community Outreach Contractors (COCs):

Download CARE Community Outreach Contractor list (PDF)

 

Become a CARE Community Outreach Contractor

  1. Download the required documents:
  2. Print, fill out and send the intake form.

  3. Email your completed form to PG&E: CAREandFERA@pge.com.

 

Energy Savings Assistance

  • Are you enrolled in CARE?
  • Do you own or rent a house, apartment or mobile home that is five years or older?

You may qualify for the Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) program.

More resources and support

Additional discounts

Find information about discounts on phone and internet services.

Take the Home Energy Checkup

  • Take the 5-minute Home Energy Checkup.
  • Identify sources of wasted energy in your household.
  • Get a custom savings plan to lower monthly bills.

Budget Billing

Budget Billing is a free tool that averages your annual energy costs to help you manage your bills.

  • Level out monthly payments.
  • Offset high seasonal bills.