California Arrearage Payment Program

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The 2021 California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP) offers 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 State Budget and administered by the Department of Community Services and Development (CSD), the CAPP program dedicated $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 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 are credited to customer accounts on a rolling basis as energy utilities apply and are approved for CAPP funding.  There are four distinct phases of CAPP implementation that are required for energy utilities participating in the program. ​​

Customer​s with questions about their CAPP benefit can cont​act ​their energy utility.


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

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

Phase 2: CAPP Application​ - Completed
CSD distributed CAPP applications to energy utilities following the release of arrearage data and allocation determinations. After the release of applications, utilities had 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 - Completed​

​CAPP allocations were awarded to utilities prior to January 31, 2022 as applications were approved on rolling basis. Energy utilities are required to apply CAPP benefits to customer accounts within 60 days of receiving CAPP funds.

​Phase 4: Utility Outcomes Reporting​ - ​In Progress
Energy utilities are 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 2021 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 are to prioritize 2021 CAPP assistance to eligible customer accounts 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.​



Subscribe to receive CAPP Program Notices and other program​ updates.​

Sign up fo​r​ CAPP email updates


​​​​​​​CSD held a remote information session with energy utility representatives on July 21, 2021, to share CAPP requirements and touchpoints necessary to ensure timely and effective program administration. 



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