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CAPP pays past-due energy utility bills that increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Good news - relief is on the way for customers that accrued utility bill debt during the covid pandemic. The California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP) offers financial assistance for California energy utility customers to help reduce past due energy bill balances. Utilities including PG&E and EBCE will receive state funds to pay down utility bill debt for customers who incurred and still have a past due balance during the pandemic. If customers are eligible for the funds, the credit will be automatically applied to their account and they do not need to take any action. Funds will be applied to customer bills in February or March 2022.
Detailed information about CAPP appears below. If you have questions about your energy bill, you can contact EBCE’s call center at 1-833-699-EBCE (3223) on weekdays between 9AM–5PM. For information on other bill-paying assistance programs, please visit ebce.org/customer-assistance.
What is the California Arrearage Payment Program Bill Credit?
The California Arrearage Payment Program, or CAPP, is a state program to help pay customers’ eligible past due energy utility bills that increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. CAPP reduces qualified customers’ unpaid energy bills by directly applying a credit to their utility bill. Customers do not need to apply for CAPP and assistance will be disbursed by California utility providers electing to participate in CAPP (including PG&E and East Bay Community Energy).
CAPP bill credits are courtesy of the State of California and are targeted to help utility customers that fell behind on their energy bills because of the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers may qualify for a CAPP credit if they had an unpaid energy utility bill over 60 days past due incurred between March 4, 2020 and June 15, 2021.
How will I know if I qualified for CAPP?
Energy utilities that apply for and receive CAPP funds are responsible for distributing CAPP benefits to eligible utility customers. Customers that qualify for a CAPP benefit will automatically receive a credit on their energy utility bill. The credit will be labeled “California Arrearage Payment Program Bill Credit,” “Cal. Arrearage Payment Program Credit,” or “CAPP Credit.” Customers may also be notified through another statement from their energy utility. Energy utility customers don’t need to apply to receive a CAPP credit. Energy utilities apply on behalf of all eligible customers. Eligibility for a CAPP benefit and the amount of a bill credit will vary depending on the utility and program rules.
Below is an image showing where the CAPP credits will appear on your bill:
What if I still owe money on my energy bill after CAPP?
Under CAPP, your energy utility company is required to offer payment plans to customers with a remaining balance after a CAPP benefit has been applied to their account. Contact EBCE or PG&E to learn about payment plans and other programs that may be available to help you pay your bill and reduce your energy costs.
In addition to CAPP, the State of California may also be able to help through the following programs:
• Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) – provides financial assistance to help low-income households pay their energy bill.
• California COVID-19 Rent Relief Program – provides financial assistance for rent and utilities to income-eligible California renters and their landlords who have been impacted by COVID-19.
CAPP provides a number of consumer protections for customers that are eligible to receive a CAPP benefit. Utilities that apply for CAPP funding are required to:
• Not disconnect customers with arrearages accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic bill relief period while CSD reviews and approves all pending CAPP applications.
• Waive late fees and accrued interest for customers awarded a CAPP benefit.
• Not disconnect a CAPP recipient’s utility service for 90 days after a CAPP benefit is applied, regardless of the balance owed.
• Notify customers of the option to enter into an extended payment plan, with late fees and penalties waived, if they received CAPP benefit and have a remaining balance after that benefit is applied.
For more information about the California Arrearage Payment Program, visit https://www.csd.ca.gov/CAPP.