Stay at home orders have led to higher residential energy use at the same time as many residents are experiencing financial stress and income loss brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic. New utility programs and discounts are now available to assist those in need.

Customers who have lost their income should call their utility today to receive a 20 to 35% discount on their bills through the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program and/or the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) program. In the City of Carpinteria, residents should call Southern California Edison at 1-800-950-2356 and Southern California Gas at 1-877-238-0092 to find out more about this program.

Also, both Southern California Gas and Southern California Edison have suspended service disconnections until further notice. Learn more about their efforts to help customers during the pandemic at https://www.socalgas.com/coronavirus and https://www.sce.com/

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) also has a discount program for telecommunication customers, California LifeLine at https://www.cpuc.ca.gov/lifeline/, and has worked with utilities to provide the Climate Credit in April, which will help off-set higher bills.

Lastly, Carpinterians can save energy and reduce their utility bills by implementing the following behaviors:

·      On cooler days, set thermostats to 68 or lower during the day and 62 at night

·      Unplug unused devices and/or turn off power strips

·      Open blinds/curtains on sunny days to avoid using too many lights

·      Wait to use dishwasher when it’s full

·      Turn down screen brightness and use eco-mode features on work from home and entertainment devices