Help for Electricity Bill Debts Incurred During Pandemic Coming to Eligible SCE Customers
Latest of several assistance efforts to help customers impacted during COVID-19 crisis
Southern California Edison is distributing $205 million in relief to help customers with past-due balances accrued between March 4, 2020 – the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic – through June 15, 2021. About 260,000 eligible SCE residential customers, including those enrolled in Community Choice Aggregators, will receive one-time credits on their February or March bills to partially reduce their past-due balances. No customer action is required.
The funds being distributed to customers represent SCE’s allocation from the California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP), which is providing about $1 billion in federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to help with past-due energy bills. The program is administered by the state’s Department of Community Services and Development (CSD).
SCE customers receiving the debt relief have balances 60 or more days past due that were accrued fully or partly during the CSD’s designated COVID-19 pandemic bill relief period. Bill credit amounts differ for each recipient and were determined using CSD guidelines.
“We are pleased to provide this help for SCE customers struggling with their electric bills,” said Lisa D. Cagnolatti, SCE’s senior vice president of Customer Service. “Many of our customers and communities continue to face hardships during the pandemic. SCE is here to help them with a range of programs and services, whether they need short-term or longer-term assistance.”
Since Sept. 30, SCE’s Pandemic Debt Relief Program automatically enrolls residential customers with balances 60 or more days past due into 24-month payment arrangements, so they can pay off their balances over time.
CAPP-funded debt relief and SCE’s Pandemic Debt Relief Program are among the many ways SCE customers can get help with their bills. Other assistance options include:
- Income-qualified programs, specifically the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) and Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) that provide monthly bill discounts of 30% and 18%, respectively.
- One-time grants for income-qualified customers of up to $100; $200 for all-electric homes (Energy Assistance Fund).
- Assistance for customers requiring electrically powered medical equipment or qualifying devices (Medical Baseline Allowance).
- Debt forgiveness of up to $8,000 for income-qualified residential customers (Arrearage Management Program).
- Rebates and incentives on energy-efficient products and services for business customers provided by authorized third-party vendors, including discounts for commercial and industrial lighting upgrades, foodservice and HVAC equipment and more.
- An easy-to-use tool that tracks energy usage in near real time and sends alerts when usage approaches a customer’s preselected spending goal (Budget Assistant).
- An option for eligible customers to split the cost of annual electricity service into equal monthly payments (Budget Billing Plan).
- Twelve-month payment arrangements or payment extensions of up to 30 days for eligible customers upon request.
Customers receiving a CAPP benefit will get a notification letter from SCE by U.S. mail, and a printed message will appear on their billing statement indicating the payment was applied to their account.
About Southern California Edison
An Edison International (NYSE: EIX) company, Southern California Edison is one of the nation’s largest electric utilities, serving a population of approximately 15 million via 5 million customer accounts in a 50,000-square-mile service area within Central, Coastal and Southern California.
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