2021 California Arrearage Payment Program

Illustration of lightbulb, paid utility bill, house with a family, and a natural gas stove burner.

The 2021 California Arrearage Payment Program (2021 CAPP) offered 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 2021 CAPP program dedicated $1 billion in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding to address California's energy debts.

Energy utility customers did not need to apply to receive assistance under the 2021 CAPP program. A credit was automatically applied to the customer's bill if a customer account was eligible. Energy utilities applied for 2021 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. ​

2021 CAPP benefits were credited to customer accounts on a rolling basis as energy utilities applied and were approved for CAPP funding. There were four distinct phases of 2021 CAPP implementation that were ​required for energy utilities participating in the program. ​​

Energy utility customer​s with questions about their ​ 2021 CAPP benefit should cont​act ​their energy utility

​2022 CAPP​

​The 2022 CAPP program dedicated $1.2 billion to address California's energy debts by offering financial assistance for California's residential energy utility customers to help reduce past due energy bill balances accrued during the COVID-19 pandemic relief period covering March 4, 2020 through December 31, 2021​. ​2022 CAPP funding was allocated to participating state energy utilities on November 22, 2022.
Additional information for customers about the 2022 CAPP Bill Credit can be found by visiting https://www.csd.ca.gov/CAPP​.​


​​​​​​​​CAPP Implementation Timeline showing Phase 1: Utility Putcomes Reporting completed.

Phase 1: Utility Survey - Completed
Energy utilities provided arrearage survey data to calculate total statewide energy bill arrearages and determine 2021 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 2021 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 did not need to apply to receive a 2021 CAPP benefit. Energy utilities directly applied CAPP benefits to qualifying customer accounts.​

Phase 3: CAPP Allocations Awarded - Completed​

​2021 CAPP allocations were awarded to energy utilities prior to January 31, 2022, as applications were approved on a ​rolling basis. Energy utilities were required to apply 2021 CAPP benefits to customer accounts within 60 days of receiving CAPP funds.

​Phase 4: Utility Outcomes Reporting​ - ​Completed
Energy utilities were required to report 2021 CAPP outcomes following the delivery of benefits. Energy utilities have reported 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 ​first two phases of CAPP implementation:

      1) Utility Survey  2) CAPP Application 


As specified under Calif​ornia Government Cod​e Section 16429.5​ (Assembly Bill 135, Chapter 85, Statutes of 2021), energy utilities were 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 implemented 2021 CAPP through the release of CAPP Program Notices​. Subscribe to CSD's email updates​ to be notified if new CAPP Program Notices are released.​​​


Government Code Section 16429.5 required energy utilities that received​ 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  2021 CAPP applications.
  • Any associated late fees and accrued interest for customers who were awarded 2021 CAPP benefits shall be waived.
  • No disconnections of a 2021 CAPP recipient’s utility service were allowed, regardless of the balance owed after applying a CAPP benefit, for 90 days after a 2021 CAPP benefit is applied.
  • Customers who received a 2021 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 2021 ​CAPP requirements and touchpoints necessary to ensure timely and effective program administration. 



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