Utilities Commission approves $7 million in assistance for gas customers

MEDIA RELEASE

Feb. 9, 2023

Contact:  Lauren Gold Howland
Public Information Officer
Phone:     (562) 355-1201 
Email:     lauren.howland@lbutilities.org

BILL CREDIT FOR ALL RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS, ADDITIONAL AID TO LOW INCOME FAMILIES, SENIORS, THOSE WITH DISABILITIES

LONG BEACH, CALIF. (FEB. 9, 2023) — All residential gas customers in Long Beach and Signal Hill will receive a $45 credit on their next monthly utility bill, following approval by the Board of Utilities Commissioners at an emergency meeting Thursday.

Funding for this credit will come from California’s Assembly Bill 32 Cap and Trade program. Traditionally, Long Beach uses these funds to pay for programs and projects that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Customers do not need to take any action to receive this credit. The credit will automatically be applied to all individually-metered gas accounts.

“This program will help ease some of the pain our customers have been feeling amid this winter’s record high natural gas prices,” said Gloria Cordero, president of the Board of Utilities Commissioners. “I’m proud that our team has come together to get this assistance money out the door as quickly and easily as possible.”

In addition to the $45 credit, additional aid of up to $200 will be available for low income families, seniors and those with disabilities.

To receive the credit, qualifying customers must be enrolled in Long Beach Utilities’ existing Low Income Senior/Disability Discount Program or the Low Income Gas Discount Program. No action is needed from existing program participants, who will receive the credit on their next bill.

Qualified customers who are not currently enrolled in these existing 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.

Funding for the one-time bill credits will come from roughly $1.5 million in excess utility users tax, or UUT, revenues realized from abnormally high natural gas bills this winter. At its Feb. 1 emergency meeting, the City Council voted to allocate these funds to provide customer assistance.

To sign up for these assistance programs, customers can visit lbwater.org/billhelp, call (562) 570-5700 or visit our office at 2400 E. Spring St.

Find more information about these programs below.

Low Income Seniors or Disability Discount Program

  • Who qualifies?
    • Customers age 62 or older who meet income requirements (see chart) or who have otherwise qualified for the UUT Exemption Program
    • Customers with a qualifying disability who meet income requirements (see chart) or who have otherwise qualified for the UUT Exemption Program
  • One-time assistance
    • $200 bill credit
  • Existing, ongoing assistance
    • 20 percent discount on gas charges
    • Monthly credit to water service charge
    • First six billing units of water usage at no charge
    • Reduced refuse/recycling rate
    • Exemption from UUT on gas, water, electric and telephone bills

Low Income Gas Discount Program

  • Who qualifies?
    • Low income individuals or families that meet income requirements (see chart below)
  • One-time assistance
    • $150 bill credit
  • Existing, ongoing assistance
    • 20 percent discount on gas charges

Long Beach Utilities will be begin accepting new applications immediately. For more information, visit lbwater.org/billhelp.

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