Energy, Telephone, Utilities
When families stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer, they reduce the risk of health and safety problems (such as illness, fire, or eviction), especially for more vulnerable family members like infants and the elderly. Also, spending less money on phone service and utilities can free up money for other necessities like food, transportation and medical care.
WIC Can Help connect WIC families to financial assistance with utility bills – energy (electricity and natural gas), water and telephone service – as well as saving energy to reduce costs.
What Local Agencies Can Do:
- Become familiar with the assistance and information programs listed below.
- Refer families to websites and/or phone numbers for the assistance they may need.
- Order and distribute free materials, when available.
Help with Paying Utility Bills
- CPUC Payment Plans
If you have fallen behind on your energy, telephone, or water bills – or if you are afraid you might – the CPUC may be able to help you negotiate a payment plan.
- Utility Payment Assistance – each utility company (PG&E, SoCal Edison, and others) may be able to help pay utility bills in an emergency.
- Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a Federally-funded program that helps low-income households with their home energy bills.
(866) 675-6623 OR (916) 576-7109
(916) 263-1402 (TDD)
Check these eligibility guidelines, and download brochures (PDF) in English and Spanish.
To apply for LIHEAP assistance, contact:
LIHEAP State or Territory agency
LIHEAP Indian Tribe or Tribal Organization agency
Help with Reducing Utility & Phone Rates
- California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE)
Low-income customers receive a 20% discount on their electric and natural gas bills; many WIC families qualify.
- Family Electric Rate Assistance Program (FERA)
Families with household income slightly above CARE allowances qualify to get some of their electricity usage billed at a lower rate.
- California LifeLine
Discounted basic telephone services to eligible California households, who can now apply their discount to a landline, wireless, OR broadband service. WIC participants automatically qualify!
Refer families to (866) 272-0357 for eligibility screening.
For those living on Tribal Lands, click here.
- California Rate Assistance for Water
Families may be eligible for a discount on water utility bills. Income limits vary by utility company, so check with the local water utility to find out.
Help with Reducing Home Energy Use
- Energy Savings Assistance Program
The CPUC provides no-cost weatherization services (such as attic insulation, energy-efficient appliances, and weatherstripping) to low-resource households.
- Weatherization Assistance Program
Weatherization, the process of making homes more “air tight” and energy efficient, helps families be more comfortable and save money. To determine eligibility, check the WAP Income Guidelines, and/or call 866-675-6623 for help in finding your local provider.
General Help and Information
- Call 2-1-1 for free and confidential information and referral about help with food, housing, employment, health care, counseling and more, or go to the 2-1-1 website and search by zip code or state and county.
- Community Services and Development (CSD)
Utility Assistance Call Center (866) 675-6623
The State agency responsible for many of the programs listed above.