San Diego Water Expands Partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric for Low-Income Residents

By on July 31, 2018
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In an effort to increase the availability of devices that save both water and energy for low-income residents, San Diego County Water Authority (SDWA) is expanding a long-running partnership with San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E). SDWA is investing $150,000 to supplement funding for water-saving devices, such as low-flow showerheads and efficient washing machines, to allow SDG&E’s Energy Savings Assistance Program to serve more income-qualified customers.

“Nowhere is water and energy more connected than the San Diego region,” said Scott Crider, vice president of customer services at SDG&E. “It’s through these types of partnerships we are making a real difference in people’s lives and promoting the conservation of our most valuable resources.”

Eligibility for the no-cost energy- and water-efficiency improvement program for homes is based on income and household size.  A family of four may be eligible if the combined annual income is no more than $50,200. Household participation in certain public assistance programs may also qualify families. These programs include:

  • Medicaid/Medi-Cal for Families A & B
  • CalFresh (food stamps) SNAP
  • Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
  • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
  • Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
  • National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
  • Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • CalWORKs (TANF) or Tribal TANF

Some 21,000 residents have participated in the program each year since its inception.

The two San Diego-area public utility agencies have worked together to trim water and energy use for decades and the water-efficiency program is one of the longest-running partnerships of its kind in California. SDWA’s current $150,000 contribution for the Energy Savings Assistance Program comes from the agency’s operating budget and conservation funds available through the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California.

Expansion plans for energy efficiency in the San Diego area include SDWA and SDG&E exploring the potential for improving water-use efficiency at small and mid-sized commercial kitchens through SDG&E’s Business Energy Solutions Program. Current participants in the business energy program receive a no-cost audit and a report identifying resource-saving technologies thereby qualifying them to take advantage of incentives and financing opportunities. Additionally, the two utility companies are hoping to coordinate and integrate their respective water and energy efficiency programs for agricultural customers.

“We are committed to helping the San Diego region make the most of our water supplies inside and outside their homes through a variety of innovative projects and programs,” said Mark Muir, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “By joining forces with SDG&E, we maximize our impact and benefit families that otherwise might not be able to afford these environmentally friendly upgrades.”

Additional information on the Energy Savings Assistance Program can be found at: https://www.sdge.com/residential/pay-bill/get-payment-bill-assistance/assistance-programs/no-cost-energy-efficient-home-improvements. For more information about the Water Authority’s water-use efficiency resources, go to www.WaterSmartSD.org.