Ava serves over 100,000 customers who receive discounts on their energy bills because they are income-qualifying. But we know there are many more customers who need help paying their bills, and even customers receiving some level of discount may be eligible for and need additional programs that can help even more. Ava researched available programs, added some of our own, and then developed this web page as a resource to help customers find and enroll in programs that can help them pay their energy bills.
Decide which programs are right for you, and which you are eligible for. Here are jump links to several types of programs. Being an Ava customer does not reduce your ability to participate in these programs:
Discounts on your energy bill
The programs below provide either an ongoing monthly discount, or a one-time discount on your energy bill.
Provides a 35% discount on your electricity bill and a 20% discount on your natural gas bill.
CARE is a state program that provides a discounted rate for electricity to qualifying low-income households. This program is administered to all customers by PG&E, including customers who choose to receive service from a community choice energy program (such as Ava).
For more details, visit AvaEnergy.org/care
For eligibility, see full program guidelines on the PG&E website
For more languages and options to apply by mail, visit PG&E's CARE/FERA page
Provides an 18% discount on your electricity bill.
Eligibility for the FERA program is based on the household income. Get more details via PG&E's program guidelines.
REACH(Relief for Energy Assistance for Community Help)
Provides one-time, emergency assistance in the form of a one-time energy credit for up to $300, based on the past-due bill balance.
Your household must have a residential account with PG&E/Ava in the name of an adult living in the household.
The utility account holder must not have received REACH assistance within the past 12 months.
Household income must not exceed the REACH income guidelines, which are currently 200 percent above the federal poverty guidelines (the same as the CARE program).
Your household must have received either a 15-day or a 48-hour disconnection notice.
Assistance is not provided for security deposits, reconnection fees, closed accounts, or transferred balances.
If the account holder is younger than 62 years, the past due PG&E balance must be at least $100 and not more than $300. If the account holder is 62 years or older, the past due PG&E balance must be at least $50 and not more than $300.
To enroll, apply via county agencies.
LIHEAP (Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program)
LIHEAP is a federally funded program that helps low-income households pay their energy bills. The program offers a variety of services, including HEAP, which provides one-time financial assistance; LIWP, which provides weatherization services; and the Energy Crisis Intervention Program (ECIP), which assists low-income households that are in a crisis situation, such as receiving a disconnection notice. Qualifying customers receive up to $1,000 in assistance.
Get More Information
California Department of Community Services & Development:
Energy Bill Assistance
Alameda County Program Administrator website:
Spectrum Community Services
or call 510.881.0300
City of Tracy resources:
San Joaquin Department of Aging and Community Services
or call 209.953.SAVE
Customers with special energy needs related to a medical condition receive an additional allotment of electricity each month at the lowest price available.
Have a qualifying medical condition and/or require use of a qualifying medical device.
NOTE: Ava customers on Medical Baseline are currently exempt from paying the full monthly Power Charge Indifference Adjustment fee to PG&E. This means customers on Ava service who are participating in Medical Baseline receive additional savings beyond what they would receive if they were not on Ava service.
Community Solar Green Tariff
Coming soon: Ava’s Disadvantaged Community & Community Solar Green Tariff program
Help with overdue energy bills
Get help to pay down an outstanding balance on your PG&E bill with this debt forgiveness payment plan: Arrearage Management Program (AMP)
AMP is a new payment plan option to help qualifying residential customers reduce unpaid balances on their bills.
Residential customers must:
- Be enrolled in CARE or FERA.
- Owe at least $500 or more on your gas and electric bill, or owe at least $250 or more on your gas bill (applies to gas-only customers).
- Some debt is more than 90 days past due.
- Be a PG&E and/or Ava customer for at least 6 months, and have made at least one on-time payment.
Speak with a PG&E customer service representative by calling +1 800.743.5000
Make your home more energy efficient
Energy-efficient homes and solar-powered homes mean lower energy bills, and also tend to be less drafty and more comfortable. These programs can help make homes more energy efficient and comfortable.
Disadvantaged Communities – Single-Family Solar Homes (DAC-SASH)
This California state program provides incentives to help homeowners in disadvantaged communities go solar; specifically it enables income-qualified homeowners in DACs to receive no-cost rooftop solar installations.
- Own their home
- Live in a Top 25% Disadvantaged Community according to the state’s CalEnviroScreen mapping tool, and
- Be eligible for CARE or FERA
Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESA)
The Energy Savings Assistance Program provides no-cost weatherization services, such as installation of insulation, caulking and light bulbs, and replacement of appliances such as refrigerators, water heaters, and furnaces.
Participants must live in a house, mobile home or apartment that is at least five years old. Income must the same guidelines as those used for CARE.
Additional Community Resources
The East Bay area has other programs for people who need financial assistance. Some of those are listed below.
Alameda County Season of Sharing - Critical Family Needs (CFN) Assistance
One-time, merit-based assistance to applicants who demonstrate a critical need arising from emergency circumstances beyond their control.
Applicants must be current Alameda County residents (minimum 6 continuous months) in one of the following categories:
- Families with dependent children (age 18 and under) living in the home
- Permanently disabled individuals (18 years & older and receiving SSDI/SSI or medically verified)
- Older individuals, age 55 and olderEmancipated/former foster youth, ages 18-24
- Survivors of domestic violence and violent crimes (occurrence within the past 6 months)
- Pregnant individuals in their 2nd trimester or later
Alameda County Emergency Assistance
*As of April 2023, this program is not accepting new applications.*
The Alameda County Housing Secure Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ACHS-ERAP) will help income-eligible households pay rent and utilities, both for past due and future payments. The federal Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 provides funding to support the program.
Phase 1 of the program launched March 17, 2021. Phase 1 of the program will prioritize (1) tenant households making less than 30% of the area median income; (2) small rental property owners (5 units or less); and (3) tenants in subsidized affordable housing units. These priorities will be expanded in Phase 2.
- Be a tenant in Alameda County, except for Oakland and Fremont. For information on rental assistance programs in Oakland and Fremont, please check here.
- Have qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to COVID–19;
- Demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability, which may include: Past-due rent or utilities or unsafe or unhealthy living conditions; and
- Have a household income that is not more than 80% of the area median income
CPUC's CHANGES (Community Help and Awareness of Natural Gas and Electric Services) program provides services to Limited English Proficient consumers who need help with energy issues.
Read more on CPUC's website
CHANGES organizations in Ava’s service area
Centro Legal de la Raza (Oakland) 510.437.9164
The Afghan Coalition (Fremont) 510.745.1680
Keep Oakland Housed
*As of April 2023, this program is not accepting new applications.*
Keep Oakland Housed (KOH), a partnership of nonprofit organizations, will be administering Federal emergency rental assistance funds. The funding will provide financial assistance to low-income tenants impacted by COVID-19 and can cover past rent due, prospective rent (up to three months), and utility expenses. Funding is provided to the property owners or utility service providers.
- Oakland resident; and
- A household of one or more individuals obligated to pay rent on a residential dwelling; and
- At least one or more individuals living in the household has:
*Qualified for unemployment OR
*Experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced a financial hardship due to COVID-19; and
- At least one or more individuals living in the household can demonstrate a risk of experiencing homelessness or housing instability; and
- Household income at or below 50% of Area Median Income (AMI)
Have questions or need help?
Reach out to an Ava representatives between 9AM–5PM on weekdays
By Phone: +1 833.699.3223
By Chat:We have a live-chat feature enabled on this webpage during business hours.