New Income Guidelines Expand Bill-Assistance Eligibility for SoCalGas Customers

LOS ANGELES, June 1, 2011 – More low-income customers may now be eligible to receive a 20-percent rate discount and no-cost energy-saving home improvements from Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) due to new income guidelines that went into effect today for qualified customers who enroll in the state-sponsored California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)  and Energy Savings Assistance Program
 
“We are committed to enrolling as many eligible customers as possible in our assistance programs, so they can benefit from the savings on their monthly energy bill,” said Hal D. Snyder, vice president of customer solutions for SoCalGas.  “Through our partnerships with community groups and other outreach efforts, we are trying to make sure all our customers are aware of the many kinds of assistance available to ease their hardship.”

The CARE program provides a 20-percent rate discount on the monthly natural gas bill for eligible households. About 1.71 million customers throughout SoCalGas’ service area already have enrolled in the CARE program.

The Energy Savings Assistance Program, formerly known as Direct Assistance Program, provides energy-saving home improvements to income-qualified renters and homeowners.   Services include door weather-stripping and caulking to keep unwanted drafts out of the home; attic insulation to help the home stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter; low-flow showerheads that can save energy used to heat water; furnace replacement (owner occupied only); high-efficiency clothes washers and other minor home repairs.

As of June 1, the new CARE and Energy Savings Assistance Program income guidelines, based on pre-tax annual income, are as follows:

                     Number of People
                     Per Household                                New Income Guidelines

                            1 or 2                                                   $31,800
                            3                                                          $37,400
                            4                                                          $45,100
                            5                                                          $52,800
                            6                                                          $60,500


                       Add $7,700 for each additional household member

Customers could be automatically eligible if they or a household member currently receive benefits from Medical/Medicaid, Healthy Families A & B, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), National School Lunch Program, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), CalFresh/SNAP Food Stamps, The Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance, Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only), CalWORKs (TANF), Tribal TANF or LIHEAP programs. 

SoCalGas offers a wide range of assistance programs for qualifying customers on a limited income or with special medical needs.

        • The Gas Assistance Fund helps provide a one-time grant to customers during the winter who are income qualified and unable to pay their bill. 

        • Customers who have a person in the home with certain medical conditions – who may require additional heating to sustain their health, may qualify for additional natural gas at the lowest baseline rate through the Medical Baseline Allowance program.  There are no income requirements for the Medical Baseline program; however doctor certification is required.

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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About Southern California Gas Co.

Southern California Gas Co. has been delivering clean, safe and reliable natural gas to its customers for more than 140 years.  It is the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility, providing service to 20.9 million consumers through nearly 5.8 million meters in more than 500 communities.  The company’s service territory encompasses approximately 20,000 square miles throughout central and Southern California, from Visalia to the Mexican border.  SoCalGas is a regulated subsidiary of Sempra Energy (NYSE: SRE).

ia Contact: Raul Gordillo, Southern California Gas Co., (877) 643-2331, www.socalgas.com

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Sempra Energy , Southern California Gas Company