COVID-19 Resources

WCE is Here for You

WCE is dedicated to assisting our customers during these unprecedented times caused by COVID-19 by partnering with other governmental agencies to help serve our customers’ needs. There are various programs available that can help customers save money, energy and, in some cases, provide financial assistance through grants and advanced payment plans.

The following sections explain the various programs, eligibility requirements, application links and other useful information available to our customers.  These programs change frequently, so please check back often if you do not see something that currently addresses your needs.

Click on the program name for more information.

Federal

Community Action Partnership of Riverside County administers the federally funded Low-Income Housing Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) which provides utility payment assistance and weatherization services to low-income customers in Riverside County.


Program Type: Continuous Utility Payment Assistance

Eligibility


Website & Online Application

State

In February 2021, SCE will be launching the Arrearage Management Plan (AMP) - a new payment plan option to help qualifying residential customers reduce unpaid balances on their bills.  With each on-time payment of your current charges, AMP will forgive 1/12 of the eligible debt you owed at the time of enrollment. After 12 on-time payments of your monthly current charges, your eligible debt will be forgiven, up to $8,000.

Program Type: Debt Forgiveness

Eligibility

  • Must be a resident of California
  • Be enrolled in one of SCE's financial assistance programs--CARE or FERA
  • Owe at least $500 or more on your electric bill
  • Be more than 90 days past due
  • Have an active SCE service account for at least six months and have made at least one on-time payment

Website & Online Application

Application

CARE & FERA are SCE discount programs that help eligible customers pay their energy bills.

  • Low-income customers that are enrolled in the CARE Program receive a 30% to 35% discount on their electric bill and a 20% discount on their natural gas bill.
  • Families whose household income slightly exceeds the CARE allowances will qualify to receive FERA discounts, which applies an 18% discount on their electricity bill.
  • If you have been affected by COVID-19 and your income has been temporarily reduced, you may still qualify for one of these programs.

Program Type: Utility Bill Discount

Eligibility

  •  For the CARE Program:
    • Qualification if based on the total income of everyone living in the home*
      * You may also be eligible for CARE if you or someone in your household are enrolled in any of the following public assistance programs: 

      • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
      • CalFresh/SNAP (Food Stamps)
      • CalWORKs (TANF)/Tribal TANF
      • Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
      • LIHEAP
      • Medi-Cal/Medicaid
      • Medi-Cal for Families (Healthy Families A&B)
      • National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
      • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
      • WIC
  • For the FERA Program:
    • Household size must be 3 or more
    • Qualification is based on the total income of everyone living the home and/or participation in a public assistance program

SCE CARE/FERA Website:

Application

The Energy Savings Assistance Program (ESA) provides no-cost weatherization services to low-income households who meet the CARE income guidelines. 

  • Services provided include attic insulation, energy efficient refrigerators/furnaces, weatherstripping, caulking, low-flow showerheads, water heater blankets, and door and building envelope repairs which reduce air infiltration. Families whose household income slightly exceeds the CARE allowances will qualify to receive FERA discounts, which applies an 18% discount on their electricity bill.

Program Type: No-cost Weatherization Services

Eligibility

  •  Be a homeowner or renter who receives electric services through a residential meter
  • Have an active SCE service account
  • Meet the program eligibility requirements, including the installation requirements
  • Qualify based on Household Income or qualify based on if you or someone in your home participates in at least one of the eligible public assistance programs:
    • Bureau of Indian Affairs General Assistance
    • CalFresh/SNAP (Food Stamps)
    • CalWORKs (TANF)/Tribal TANF
    • Head Start Income Eligible (Tribal Only)
    • LIHEAP
    • Medi-Cal/Medicaid
    • Medi-Cal for Families (Healthy Families A&B)
    • National School Lunch Program (NSLP)
    • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • WIC

SCE ESA Program Website:

Application

The CA Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program provides grants from $5,000 to $25,000 to eligible small businesses and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 and the related health and safety restrictions.

California's Office of the Small Business Advocate (CalOSBA), part of the Governor's Office of Business and Economic Development (GO-Biz) announced on Friday, March 3, 2021 four new funding rounds for the California Small Business COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

Program Type: Grant

Round 3 Information (waitlisted applicants from Round 1 and 2)

  •  Round 3 Opens: Friday, March 5, 2021
  •  Round 3 Closes: Thursday, March 11, 2021
  •  Eligible applicants: This is a closed round and only available to eligible applicants who were waitlisted in Rounds 1 and 2-only existing applicants will be selected.  If you were waitlisted, you do not need to reapply.  New applications will not be accepted in this round.
  •  Eligible grant award: $5,000 to $25,000
  •  Details: This is a closed funding round; no new applications will be accepted.

Round 4 Information (non-profit cultural institutions only)

  • Round 4 Opens: Tuesday, March 16, 2021
  • Round 4 Closes: Tuesday, March 23, 2021
  • Eligible applicants: Only non-profit cultural institutions with any revenue size that meet eligibility criteria found at https://careliefgrant.com/
  • Eligible grant award: $5,000 to $25,000
  • Details: Eligible non-profit cultural institutions must complete a new application even if they already applied in Rounds 1 and 3; grants will only be available to non-profit cultural institutions that did not receive funding in Rounds 1, 2 or 3; grants will be prioritized based on documents percentage revenue declines based on a reporting period comparing Q2 and Q3 of 2020 versus Q2 and Q3 of 2019

Round 5 Information 

  • Round 5 Opens: Thursday, March 25, 2021
  • Round 5 Closes: Wednesday, March 31, 2021
  • Eligible applicants: Current waitlisted small businesses and non-profits not selected in Rounds 1, 2, or 3 and new applicants that meet eligibility criteria found at https://careliefgrant.com/
  • Eligible grant award: $5,000 to $25,000
  • Details: Applicants not selected to receive a grant in Rounds 1, 2, & 3 do not need to reapply as they will be automatically moved into Round 5.  New applicants will need to apply at https://careliefgrant.com/

Round 6 Information

  • Date to be announce soon
  • Eligible applicants: Current waitlisted small businesses and non-profits not selected in Rounds 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 and new applicants and/or non-profits not selected in Rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 that meet eligibility criteria found at https://careliefgrant.com/
  • Eligible grant award: $5,000 to $25,000
  • Details: Applicants not selected to receive a grant in Rounds 1, 2, 3 & 5 do not need to reapply as they will be automatically moved into Round 5. New applicants will need to apply at https://careliefgrant.com/

Eligibility

  • Must meet the definition of an "eligible small business."  An "eligible small business" means (i) a "small business" (sole proprietor, independent contractor, 1099 work, and/or registered "for-profit" business entity (e.g. C-corporation, S-corporation, limited liability company, partnership) that has yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue) based on most recently filed tax return) or (ii) a "small nonprofit" (registered 501(c)(3), 501(c)(19), or 501(c)(6) non profit entity having yearly gross revenue of $2.5 million or less (but at least $1,000 in yearly gross revenue) based on most recently filed Form 990)
  • Active businesses or nonprofits operating since at least June 1, 2019
  • Businesses must currently be operating or have a clear plan to re-open once the State of California permits re-opening of the business
  • Business must be impacted by COVID-19 and the health and safety restrictions such as business interruptions or business closures incurred as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Business must be able to provide organizing documents including 2018 or 2019 tax returns or Form 990s, copy of official filing with the California Secretary of State, if applicable, or local municipality for the business such as one of the following: Articles of Incorporation, Certificate of Organization, Fictitious Name of Registration or Government-Issued Business License
  • Business must be able to provide an acceptable form of government-issued photo ID
  • Applicants with multiple business entities, franchises, locations, etc., are not eligible for multiple grants and are only allowed to apply once using their eligible small business with the highest revenue

Website & Online Application

Regional

A new partnership between Eastern Municipal Water District and United Way offering a once-annual bill credit of $100. 

Thanks to the Eastern Municipal Water District, customers within their catchment area are able to apply for a once-annual bill credit of $100.

Program Type: One-Time Bill Credit

Eligibility

  • The bill must be in the name of the residential customer seeking assistance.
  • The address on the bill must be the customer's primary residence.
  • Person requesting assistance must be the person whose name is on the account.
  • Program is limited to EMWD residential customers only.
  • Customer must be delinquent on their water bill.
  • Household income, from an eligible source, must be combined for a gross annual household income.
    • The total combined gross income must be at or below the amounts shown in the following income guidelines:
      • Number of Persons in Household/Total Combined Annual Income
      • 1-2, up to $32,920
      • 3 up to $41,560
      • 4 up to $50,200
      • 5 up to $58,840
      • 6 up to $67,480
      • Each additional person $8,640
        *Qualifying income levels are 200% of the U.S. Federal Poverty Guidelines

Online Pre-Screening Questionnaire

Application

  • Click on the following link to apply: https://uwiv.org/emwd
  • If you are unable to for any reason, or have questions, please contact Shannon Torrance at United Way at storrance@iscuw.org or 909-980-2857 ext. 209

EMWD Help2Others Customer Assistance Program Website

  • Click on the following link to view the United Way/EMWD Help2Others Assistance Programs website: https://uwiv.org/emwd

Western Municipal Water District offers bill payment assistance to qualified low-income residential water/sewer customers. In order to qualify for assistance, you must be a current participant of the CARE Program offered by your gas or electric company.

Program Type: Utility Bill Discount

Eligibility

  • Your account must be past due.
  • Provide a copy of your most recent natural gas or electric bill showing you receive a CARE discount.
  • The name and service address on the gas or electric bill must match the name and service address on the water bill. If the names do not match, the name on the gas or electric bill must be added to the water account.
  • The amount of assistance would be equal or lessor of the balance due or $150. Maximum assistance would be $150 during a 12-month period.
  • Assistance cannot be used toward payment of a deposit.
  • Assistance is subject to funding availability.

WMWD Bill Payment Assistance Program Website:

Application

  • If you would like to apply for assistance or have additional questions, please contact WMWD Customer Service at billing@wmwd.com or by calling (951) 571-7104.

The United Lift Rental Assistance Program is a coordinated effort between Riverside County, Inland SoCal United Way and Lift to Rise to keep Riverside County families and residents financially impacted by COVID-19 housed by providing direct rental and utility assistance.  The United Lift Rental Assistance Program uses federal funding from different sources to provide assistance to Riverside County renter households.  Each source of funding carries its own set of eligibility guidelines defined by federal legislation and regulations.  The program will continue until funds are deplated, or until December 31, 2021, whichever happens first.

Program Type: Continuous Rental and Utility Payment Assistance

Eligibility

Federal guidelines require that households must meet ALL of the following eligibility criteria in order to be eligible for assistance:

  • Renter household - rental assistance is reserved for renter households; homeowners or mortgage-paying households are not eligible for assistance.  A lease agreement or other acceptable document proving renter status is required.  County guidelines also require that households applying for assistance live within the County of Riverside.
  •  COVID-19 related financial impact - rental assistance is reserved for households who cannot pay for rent and/or utilities because they have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Documentation of COVID-19 related financial impact is required.
  • Earning at or below 80% of area median income (AMI) - rental assistance is reserved for households that earned at or below 80% of AMI in 2020.  Priority will be given to households earning at or below 50% of AMI in 2020.  Proof of ALL sources of income from ALL members of your household for 2020 is required.

Rental assistance provided to an eligible household should not be duplicative of any other federally funded rental assistance provided to such household.

Eligible households that include an individual who has been unemployed for the 90 days prior to application for assistance and households with income at or below 50 percent of the area median are to be prioritized for assistance.

Household income is determined as either the household’s total income for calendar year 2020 or the household’s monthly income at the time of application.  For household incomes determined using the latter method, income eligibility must be redetermined every 3 months.

How to Apply:
Click on the following link to complete your online application: https://www.unitedlift.org/applynow

Riverside County ERAP United Lift Website:

Local

WCE is dedicated to assisting our customers during these unprecedented times caused by COVID-19. WCE will provide a one-time $25 bill credit in addition to any other eligible discounts and/or programs available to you. There are two ways customers may be able to receive the credit.

Program Type: One-Time Bill Credit

Eligibility

Arrearage Management Plan (AMP) eligible residential customers:

  • Be enrolled in one of SCE's financial assistance programs--CARE or FERA.
  • Enroll in the Arrearage Management Plan (AMP) Program through SCE
  • Owe at least $500 or more on your electric bill
  • Be more than 90 days past due
  • Have an active WCE service account and have made at least one on-time payment

Residential customers not eligible for AMP:

  • Owe at least $200 or more on your electric bill
  • Have a portion of your balance older than 90 days
  • Have an active WCE service account and have made at least one on-time payment

Valley Community Pantry has partnered with the City of Hemet to assist members of their community who have experienced hardship during the pandemic.

Program Type: Continuous Utility Payment Assistance

What is Needed to Apply:

  • Proof of COVID-19 impact or related loss of income (job loss/childcare/work hour reduction)
  • Copy of past due bill
  • Current & valid lease/rental agreement
  • Landlord's phone number and email address
  • Form of identification
  • Applicants must be an incorporated City of Hemet resident.
  • All adults (18 yrs and older) must submit proof of income.

Application

  • Apply in-person Monday-Thursday, 9:30 am - 12:00 pm at Trinity Lutheran Church (back parking lot), 191 S. Columbia Street, Hemet, CA 92544.

Valley Community Pantry Website

In response to the economic hardships experienced by small businesses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Hemet has established the Business Support Program, as part of the Hemet CARES initiative.  The City is utilizing the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant - Coronavirus (CDBG-CV) funding to establish a $320,000 grant program.  Funding will be awarded to 32 business applicants in an effort to assist local Hemet businesses and provide working capital grants to retain jobs, keep businesses open, and maintain their lease payments.

Program Type: Grant (up to $10,000 per applicant)

Application Deadline:

  • Applications must be submitted by April 29, 2021 at 5:30 PM.

Application

Valley Community Pantry Website


In partnership with regional and non-profit agencies, the City of Jurupa Valley can help facilitate short term rental, utility, and other forms of emergency financial assistance.

Program Type: Continuous Utility Payment Assistance

Eligibility:

  • The City contracts with Path of Life Ministries, Inc. to oversee the short term emergency funding program. Staff from Path of Life are available to assist residents in navigating their situation of housing instability.

How to Apply:

  • Residents are encouraged to contact Path of Life at (951) 786-9048 ext. 29 or email jminera@thepathoflife.com for more information.

City of Jurupa Valley's Rental & Utility Assistance Program Website

The City of Perris' Utility Assistance Program can assist with 100% of any months utility cost (up to the maximum of $200/month) for 6 consecutive months, for the following utilities: electric, water and gas. Funds are available on a first completed, first serve basis.

Program Type: Continuous Utility Payment Assistance

Eligibility

  • Households must show they have been directly financially impacted by COVID-19
  • Applicants must be an incorporated City of Perris resident.
  • All adults (18 yrs and over) must submit proof of income.  Those who cannot, must submit a signed Letter of Explanation.
  • Each adult in the household (18 yrs and over) must complete and submit the Employer Verification Form. Those who cannot, must submit a signed Letter of Explanation.
  • All adults (18 yrs and over) must submit one (1) month's proof of income BEFORE & AFTER being financially impacted by COVID-19.  This includes complete pay stubs, Social Security/SSI, Pension, Unemployment benefits, Retirement, Disability, etc. This also includes net income from business and self-employment (include income earned as an independent contractor and "Gig Economy" jobs such as Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Lyft, Instacart, Grub Hub, Door Dash, etc.)
  • Self-Employed applicants must provide a profit and loss statement to show the difference of income before and after being financially impacted by COVID-19.
  • Each adult in the household (18 yrs and over) must submit most recent three (3) months of complete bank statements.  Those who cannot, must submit a signed letter of Explanation.
  • Proof of current enrollment for household adults (18 yrs and over) who are full time High School or College students must be submitted.  Does not apply to the Head of Household.
  • Homeowners must submit their most recent mortgage statement.

City of Perris Utility Assistance Program Website

Application