The California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) and the Family Electric Rate Assistance (FERA) programs, provide discounts for income-qualified customers.
The CARE program provides a discount of approximately 30 percent on monthly electric bills for eligible customers. And the FERA program gives a reduced monthly discount for income-qualified households of three or more based on energy usage. Rates are structured by the California Public Utilities Commission.
Two Ways to Find Out if You Qualify
Option 1: Public Assistance Programs
You can qualify for CARE if you or someone in your home participates in at least one of these public assistance programs:
- Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
- CalFresh/SNAP (Food Stamps)
- CalWorks (TANF)/Tribal TANF
- Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
- Medi-Cal for Families (Healthy Families A&B)
- National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
Option 2: Household Income
You can also qualify for CARE or FERA if you meet the low-income requirements.
Please contact your community manager for more information and an application. Your electric and gas utility provider will also have information on these programs.
While there are a few instances where no amount of preparation can prevent a break in, with a few simple steps, you can lower your home’s risk of being targeted by burglars while you are away, or on vacation.
First, ask someone to keep an eye on things for you. A neighbor or family friend work just fine. You just want to make sure things around your home look normal.
Second, install timers on your electronics. A dark house for a week straight is a sure sign that someone is on vacation. By the same token, you don’t want to leave a light on the entire time you are gone. There is a huge variety of timers on the market that plug right in to an outlet, turning your lights and other electronics on and off at certain times of the day. Use timers not only on your lamps, but also on your TVs and/or radios. It is a good idea to create noise, and flickering lights associated with most American homes.
Third, stop the mail. An overflowing mailbox and a pile of packages on the front door step are clear indications that someone hasn’t been home for a while. It is very easy to stop your US Postal Service delivery for any amount of time. The US Postal Service even delivers your mail in a large bundle once you return home.
Fourth, beware of social media. In our very social society, every vacation is instantly shared on the internet for the entire world to see. Although it is tempting to stream your photos to all of your friends, it also broadcasts to the world that you are not home, and your stuff is ripe for the taking. If you can, skip the photo posting, checking in and status updates, and wait until you get home to share all of your amazing photos.
Fifth and finally, lock everything!! While it seems like common sense, be sure to lock every single possible entry to your home, including dead bolts.