Wednesday, November 18, 2009

SDG&E, SD Unified Partnership Saves Parents Money

Data Sharing Increases Enrollment in Utility Discount Program

An innovative partnership between the San Diego Unified School District and San Diego Gas and Electric Company has reduced gas and electric bills by 20% for 2,719 San Diego families, with more to come.

Under this innovative partnership, the school district is sharing its list of families qualifying for the federal Free and Reduced Priced Lunch Program with the utility. Chances are, families whose children qualify for free lunch also qualify for the California Alternative Rate for Energy (CARE) program. The program also helps the school district, since SDG&E provides a $15 per household payment for each new CARE program participants from the program.

The first check from SDG&E to San Diego Unified, for $40,785, was presented at the Board of Education meeting on Nov. 17.

“We’re happy that SDG&E is able to bring this program to our families,” said Shelia Jackson, SDUSD Board of Education President. “In this difficult economy, every bit helps.”

The CARE program offers income-qualified households a 20 percent discount on their energy bill.

“This extraordinary partnership between the school district and SDG&E just shows how much caring there is for our San Diego families both at school and at our company,” said Mitch Mitchell, regional vice president for external affairs for San Diego Gas & Electric. “This is a program that’s available to all low income customers in California. Working with San Diego Unified has made contacting these families just that much easier.”

The first phase of the program resulted in 2,719 families signing up for the CARE program. At least two more groups of addresses will be forwarded to the utility over the coming months.

For more information on the CARE program, contact SDG&E at (800) 6