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California Public Utilities Commission
505 Van Ness Ave., San Francisco
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE PRESS RELEASE Media Contact: Terrie Prosper, 415.703.1366, email@example.com
CPUC ENCOURAGES NEEDY FAMILIES TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF ENERGY UTILITIES' ONE-TIME BILL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
SAN FRANCISCO, August 25, 2010 - The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) today encouraged families in need who are customers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, San Diego Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison, or Southern California Gas Company to sign up for a one-time payment grant to pay off their past due utility bills in order to help avoid disconnection of utility service.
Temporary Energy Assistance for Families (TEAF), authorized by the CPUC and funded, in large part, through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will provide up to $1,500 to income-qualified families who are unable to pay for their energy needs due to an unplanned hardship. "Given the ongoing national recession and the high level of unemployment in California, the TEAF program is a tangible way to help families in need," said Commissioner Dian M. Grueneich, the assigned Commissioner for this proceeding.
In April 2010, the CPUC approved the transfer of $10 million from its low income California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program to a new TEAF program in order to take advantage of $40 million in matching funds under the ARRA, which brings more financial assistance to families in need.
The Salvation Army is administering the program for all four utilities. Customers interested in the program are encouraged to contact The Salvation Army for program details and eligibility guidelines by calling 1-800-933-9677 or by visiting The Salvation Army's Golden State Division website (www.imsalvationarmy.org/usw/www_usw_gstate_3.nsf/) and clicking on Temporary Energy Assistance for Families, where applications can also be downloaded. The Salvation Army will accept applications for assistance until September 21, 2010. "With a limited time-table, the CPUC will be working with its network of local governments and community-based organizations to quickly spread the news to families about this opportunity," added Commissioner Grueneich.
In order to qualify for the program, the utility bill must be in the applicant's name and the applicant must be a parent, guardian, or non-custodial parent of a child under 18 years of age. The applicant must provide a copy of their current utility bill with the past due amount, a photo identification card, documents verifying U.S. citizenship for each household member (birth certificate, Certificate of Naturalization, passport), and documents verifying household income (pay stub, proof of public assistance, current bank statement, 2009 income tax return, etc.) to establish that their household income is below 200 percent of the federal poverty guidelines.
For more information on the CPUC, please visit www.cpuc.ca.gov.