Company shareholders provide additional funding to increase assistance programs to help customers in need.
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 27, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) announced today that it is providing $16 million in shareholder funding to help customers with bill assistance and bolster community resources for residents who may be struggling financially.
As part of this commitment, SDG&E will fund a new $10 million program to support local nonprofit, community-based organizations (CBOs) that provide essential services to vulnerable customers. The company is also immediately increasing funding for its Neighbor-to-Neighbor bill assistance program to $6 million while doubling the amount of financial support available to each qualifying customer and expanding eligibility to ensure more customers can take advantage of the program.
"The unprecedented natural gas prices in the Western U.S. this winter have put a strain on families, and we must do more to help ease the financial burden facing our customers," said SDG&E CEO Caroline Winn. "We are listening and remain focused on supporting the communities we serve during this challenging time. This additional funding will continue our efforts in assisting customers experiencing hardships."
March natural gas commodity prices, which will be released tomorrow, are forecasted to be significantly lower than January and February, driven in part by the restoration of service to a critical out-of-state pipeline.
"United Way of San Diego County has a long history of working with SDG&E to help underserved populations and addressing inequities in this region," said Nancy L. Sasaki, CEO of United Way of San Diego County. "I commend SDG&E for its latest giving initiatives. This type of community investment is critical to uplifting struggling families, helping create a brighter future for all."
SDG&E will begin collaborating with local nonprofit organizations and seek proposals for the new $10 million initiative that support programs that uplift vulnerable and lower-income residents, including seniors and those who are food insecure. By working directly with local nonprofit organizations that have the expertise and are best equipped to identify resource needs, the funding can have the greatest impact on communities in need. Additional details about the program will be announced in the coming weeks.
With the additional funding provided by SDG&E for the Neighbor-to-Neighbor program, even more customers who need bill assistance can now receive up to $600 per household per year, double the current amount. SDG&E customers may apply if they are experiencing serious illness, temporary unemployment, disability or unusual hardship. Customers are encouraged to call 2-1-1 San Diego or 2-1-1 Orange County for assistance with the program.
"Every day, 211 San Diego works with thousands of individuals and families to connect them to important and much needed community, health, and social services and programs," said 211 San Diego President and CEO William York. "We believe access to these critical services is the foundation for individuals and families to build and sustain healthy lives. SDG&E's ongoing financial commitment to San Diego provides that vital support and assistance to vulnerable residents who need that help."
SDG&E Offers a Variety of Assistance Programs
Recognizing the impact of high energy bills on families and businesses recently, SDG&E provides customers with the resources and support they need. Customers can take advantage of the following programs:
Additional Financial Assistance
- The federally funded Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) offers financial help ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, depending on household income, size, and past due balances.
- Income-qualified customers can save 30% or more through the CARE program and 18% on their electric bill through the FERA program.
- Log into MyAccount to sign up for Energy Alerts, set payment reminders, and more.
- Customers who wish to have more predictable bills – even out high-bill months with low-bill months – are encouraged to sign up for SDG&E's Level Pay Program.
Energy Efficiency Savings
- The Energy Savings Assistance (ESA) program offers no-cost energy-efficiency home upgrades to income-qualified renters and homeowners.
- Through the Golden State Rebates program, SDG&E customers can take advantage of incentives of $20-$500 to purchase high-efficiency water heaters, smart thermostats and room air conditioners.
For Information about additional customer assistance programs, please visit sdge.com/assistance.
SDG&E is an innovative San Diego-based energy company that provides clean, safe and reliable energy to better the lives of the people it serves in San Diego and southern Orange counties. The company is committed to creating a sustainable future by providing its electricity from renewable sources; modernizing natural gas pipelines; accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles; supporting numerous non-profit partners; and, investing in innovative technologies to ensure the reliable operation of the region's infrastructure for generations to come. SDG&E is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE). For more information, visit SDGEnews.com or connect with SDG&E on Twitter (@SDGE), Instagram (@SDGE) and Facebook.
This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions with respect to the future, involve risks and uncertainties, and are not guarantees. Future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or other factors.
In this press release, forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "contemplates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "in process," " construct," "develop," "opportunity," "initiative," "target," "outlook," "optimistic," "maintain," "continue," "progress," "advance," "goal," "aim," "commit," or similar expressions, or when we discuss our guidance, priorities, strategy, goals, vision, mission, opportunities, projections, intentions or expectations.
Factors, among others, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement include risks and uncertainties relating to: decisions, investigations, regulations, issuances or revocations of permits or other authorizations, renewals of franchises, and other actions by (i) the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), U.S. Department of Energy, and other governmental and regulatory bodies and (ii) the U.S. and states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions therein in which we do business; the success of business development efforts and construction projects, including risks in (i) completing construction projects or other transactions on schedule and budget, (ii) realizing anticipated benefits from any of these efforts if completed, and (iii) obtaining the consent or approval of partners or other third parties, including governmental and regulatory bodies; civil and criminal litigation, regulatory inquiries, investigations, arbitrations and other proceedings, including those related to the natural gas leak at the Aliso Canyon natural gas storage facility; changes to laws and regulations; cybersecurity threats, including by state and state-sponsored actors, by ransomware or other attacks on our systems or the systems of third-parties with which we conduct business, including to the energy grid or other energy infrastructure, all of which have become more pronounced due to recent geopolitical events, such as the war in Ukraine; failure of our counterparties to honor their contracts and commitments; our ability to borrow money on favorable terms or otherwise and meet our debt service obligations, including due to (i) actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or place those ratings on negative outlook and (ii) rising interest rates and inflation; the impact on our cost of capital and the affordability of customer rates due to volatility in inflation, interest rates and commodity prices and our ability to effectively hedge these risks; the impact of energy and climate policies, laws, rules and disclosures, as well as related goals and actions of companies in our industry, including actions to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas, any deterioration of or increased uncertainty in the political or regulatory environment for California natural gas distribution companies and the risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets; the pace of the development and adoption of new technologies in the energy sector, including those designed to support governmental and private party energy and climate goals, and our ability to efficiently incorporate them into our business; weather, natural disasters, pandemics, accidents, equipment failures, explosions, acts of terrorism, information system outages or other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities or systems, cause the release of harmful materials, cause fires or subject us to liability for damages, fines and penalties, some of which may not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms, may be disputed or not covered by insurers, or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable insurance; the availability of natural gas and natural gas storage capacity, including disruptions caused by limitations on the withdrawal of natural gas from storage facilities; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on capital projects, regulatory approvals and the execution of our operations; changes in tax and trade policies, laws and regulations, including tariffs, revisions to international trade agreements and sanctions, such as those that have been imposed and that may be imposed in the future in connection with the war in Ukraine, which may increase our costs, reduce our competitiveness, impact our ability to do business with certain counterparties, or impair our ability to resolve trade disputes; and other uncertainties, some of which are difficult to predict and beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that the company has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, http://www.sec.gov, and on Sempra's website, http://www.sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements.
Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Texas, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company or Southern California Gas Company, and Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Texas, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the CPUC.
SOURCE San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E)
Media Contact: Anthony Wagner, San Diego Gas & Electric, 877-866-2066, sdge.com, Twitter: @sdge