LONG BEACH, CALIF. (FEB. 16, 2023) — Residential gas customers struggling to pay drastically high winter bills can now apply for a one-time $100 credit, following approval for a new assistance credit program by the Board of Utilities Commissioners Thursday.
Any customer can apply for the Residential Gas Assistance Credit. To receive the credit, a customer must fill out an application and sign, under penalty of perjury, attesting that higher than normal gas utility bills have caused them financial strain.
Applications are now available at lbwater.org/billhelp.
The credit will be applied on a first-come, first-served basis until $575,000 in allocated funds are exhausted.
“Nearly everyone in our community has seen impacts from high natural gas costs, even those who might not normally struggle to pay their bills. It’s important that we do all we can to help as many people as possible,” said Gloria Cordero, Board of Utilities Commissioners president. “I have faith in the people of Long Beach that only those customers truly in need will apply for this credit.”
Thursday’s action adds to $7 million in one-time assistance already being applied to customer bills.
At an emergency meeting on Feb. 9, the Board of Utilities Commissioners approved the following:
A $45 one-time AB 32 California Climate Credit to all individually-metered gas accounts
A $200 one-time credit to those enrolled in the existing Low Income Senior/Disability Discount Program
A $150 one-time credit to those enrolled in the existing Low Income Gas Discount Program
Customers do not need to take any action to receive these credits. The applicable credits will be applied directly to customer bills in the coming weeks.
Qualifying customers who are not already enrolled in the Low Income Senior/Disability Discount or Low Income Gas Discount programs can apply by March 31, 2023 and receive the one-time credit along with ongoing program benefits on future bills. Qualifying customers are encouraged to enroll, even after March 31, to receive ongoing bill assistance benefits.
Those who qualify for the Low Income Senior/Disability Discount Program or the Low Income Gas Discount Program are not eligible for the Residential Gas Assistance Credit.
Funding for all of these one-time gas utility bill assistance credits will come from $6 million in revenues collected through California’s Assembly Bill 32 Cap and Trade program, plus roughly $1.5 million in excess utility users tax revenue allocated by the City Council.
To learn more or sign up for these assistance programs, visit lbwater.org/billhelp. Customers can call (562) 570-5700 for additional assistance.