California Arrearage Payment Program

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The newly established California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP) will offer financial assistance for California energy utility customers to help reduce past due energy bill balances that increased during the COVID-19 pandemic. Established by Governor Newsom and the California Legislature in the 2021-22 State Budget and administered by the Department of Community Services and Development (CSD), the CAPP program dedicates $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to address Californian's energy debts.

Utility customers do not need to apply to receive assistance under the CAPP program. If a customer account is eligible, a credit will be automatically applied to the customer's bill. Energy utilities will apply for CAPP assistance on behalf of customers who incurred a past due balance of 60 days or more on their energy bill during the COVID-19 pandemic relief period covering March 4, 2020​​ through June 15, 2021. ​

​CAPP benefits will be credited to customer accounts on a rolling basis as energy utilities apply and are approved for CAPP funding. To expedite the release and distribution of CAPP assistance to eligible Californian utility customers, CSD is working closely with the state's energy utilities. There are four distinct phases of CAPP implementation that are required for energy utilities participating in the program. ​


​​​​​​​​CAPP Implementation Timeline showing Phase 1: Utility Survey in progress.

​​Phase 1: Utility Survey - Completed
Energy utilities have provided arrearage survey data to calculate total statewide energy bill arrearages and determine CAPP allocations for individual utilities. CSD has released the results of the Utility Survey and CAPP allocations via CAPP Program Notices.

Phase 2: CAPP Application​ - In Progress
CSD distributed CAPP applications to energy utilities following the release of arrearage data and allocation determinations. After the release of applications, utilities will have 60 days to complete and submit a CAPP Application to CSD. Customers do not need to apply to receive a CAPP benefit. Utilities will directly apply a CAPP benefit to qualifying customer accounts.​

Phase 3: CAPP Allocations Awarded - ​In Progress
CSD will review and approve CAPP applications on a rolling basis. CAPP allocations must be distributed to utilities by January 31, 2022. Energy utilities will be required to apply CAPP benefits to customer accounts within 60 days of receiving CAPP funds.

Phase 4: Utility Outcomes Reporting​
Energy utilities will be required to report CAPP outcomes following the delivery of benefits. Utilities will report data on total funds distributed, number of customers served, and average benefit, among other outcomes.​​​​​


​The CAPP Data Dashboard displays total​ statewide data and data captured from energy utilities during ​three primary phases of CAPP implementation:

      1) Utility Survey; 2) CAPP Application; 3) Closeout.​​​​​​


As specified under Calif​ornia Government Cod​e Section 16429.5​ (Assembly Bill 135, Chapter 85, Statutes of 2021), energy utilities will prioritize CAPP assistance to eligible customer accounts in accordance in the following order:
  1. ​Active residential customers with past due balances who are at risk of disconnection due to nonpayment.
  2. Active residential customers with past due balances.​​
  3. Inactive residential customers with past due balances.
  4. Commercial customers with past due balances.
CSD is implementing CAPP through the release of CAPP Program Notices​. Subscribe to CSD's email updates​ to be notified when new CAPP Program Notices are released.​​​


Government Code Section 16429.5 requires energy utilities that receive a CAPP allocation to provide the following customer protections:

  • ​Service shall not be discontinued due to nonpayment for those customers with arrearages accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic bill relief period while CSD reviews and approves all pending CAPP applications.
  • Any associated late fees and accrued interest for customers that are awarded CAPP benefits shall be waived.
  • No disconnections of a CAPP recipient’s utility service are allowed, regardless of balance owed after applying a CAPP benefit, for 90 days after a CAPP benefit is applied.
  • Customers that received a CAPP benefit and have a remaining balance after that benefit is applied must be notified of the option to enter into an extended payment plan with late fees and penalties waived.​



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