The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic marks an unprecedented time in our modern history, impacting all aspects of our everyday lives. Silicon Valley Clean Energy is taking special steps to support our customers and communities during this challenging time.
$10 Million for Customer Relief & Community Resilience Programs
SVCE has committed $10 million for programs providing relief to customers and communities. The programs include direct financial support for lower-income customers, resiliency improvements at community and emergency facilities, and supplemental training programs for the contractor workforce impacted by shelter-in-place orders.
SVCE is investing $5 million in community resilience. Through planning and infrastructure development, these funds will help local jurisdictions reduce the economic and public health impacts from power outages while supporting local clean energy jobs and reducing emissions. Learn more at the resilience webpage.
FutureFit Fundamentals Contractor Training
SVCE is currently developing and will be launching in Spring 2021 the FutureFit Fundamentals Contractor Training program to provide the tools and resources for five different areas of all-electric building technologies. Local contractors, apprentices and journeypersons may be eligible to receive a $500 financial relief stipend upon completion of the online electrification training program.
On-Bill Credits for Residents and Small Businesses
SVCE applied $100 bill credits to income-qualified CARE/FERA residential customers in $50 increments for the months of June and July. Qualifying customers were notified by SVCE via a letter sent by mail. SVCE has also supported small businesses impacted by COVID-19 by providing a $250 on-bill credit to qualifying local small businesses.
Keeping Electricity Affordable for All
Through SVCE’s partnership with PG&E and state and federal assistance programs, SVCE customers are eligible to participate in qualifying relief programs and payment plans.
CARE & FERA Electricity Bill Discount
If you have recent changes in your finances or lost your job, even if receiving unemployment benefits, you may be eligible for a reduced energy rate through CARE and FERA programs. Enrollment in CARE or FERA can save qualified households 20-35% on their energy bill. To see if you qualify and apply visit: PG&E’s CARE & FERA Webpage.
Arrearage Management Plan Program
In the pandemic, utilities have stopped disconnections for customers unable to pay their bills, but customers are still accruing debt. SVCE has joined a state program to provide bill relief to qualifying customers. The program will reduce unpaid balances on electricity bills that have accrued due to the pandemic. Arrearage Management Plan is a 12-month program that will provide up to $8,000 of bill forgiveness to each eligible customer. To be eligible, customers must:
- Be enrolled in the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) or Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) bill assistance programs and:
- Have been a PG&E electric distribution customer for a minimum of six months
- Made at least one on-time payment within 24 months
- Owe at least $500 on their electricity bill (or $250 for gas-only customers) for more than 90 days
Eligible customers can apply through PG&E on their Payment Assistance Webpage .
Emergency Rental Assistance Program
As part of the December 2020 Federal Stimulus Bill, income-eligible households can receive rent and utility bill payment assistance through California COVID-19 Rent Relief. To learn more and apply visit: https://housing.ca.gov/covid_rr/.
Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
Customers can receive financial assistance to help pay energy bills, as well as emergency assistance with utility shut-off notices and energy efficiency support to help save energy usage through LIHEAP. This federally-funded program is administered locally by Sacred Heart Community Services. More info: https://sacredheartcs.org/energy/.
Homeowner Assistance Fund
Through the American Rescue Plan, income-eligible customers may be eligible for mortgage and utility bill assistance with the Homeowner Assistance Fund. While the State of California is still finalizing the logistics of the fund, you sign-up for CalHFA’s announcement newsletter at: https://www.calhfa.ca.gov/arp.htm.
Resources for Municipal Partners
Through SVCE’s partnership with PG&E, SVCE customers additionally qualify for the full range of relief programs outlined below.
- SEIA COVID Permitting:
This page outlines resources and information on permitting impacts and provides resources to developers, cities and counties for online permitting. www.seia.org/research-resources/permitting-options-solar-installations-covid19
- Local Permitting Municipality (AHJ) Database:
This database indicates the permitting status for different municipalities across the US. Your member agencies may be interested in reviewing this to confirm the accuracy of the information for their permitting office.www.seia.org/sites/default/files/Permitting%20Survey%20Responses.html
- Template Letter for Online Permitting:
This template provides a form letter which outlines the “ask” to cities and counties regarding online permitting.www.seia.org/sites/default/files/2020-03/AHJ-No-Touch-Letter-Template_0.docx
- SEIA COVID Permitting: