Rates & Reading Your Meter

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If you live in an apartment building, a mobile home, an RV park, or any other multi-family dwelling, your electric bill is probably set up on your landlord's “master meter/sub-meter” billing plan.

Master Meter

What Is a Master Meter?

In a multi-family dwelling like an apartment building or a mobile home park, the landlord will receive a “master meter” electric bill broken into “sub-meter” bills for each unit.The landlord uses this master bill to charge tenants for each unit’s electricity use. Rates billed to tenants by the landlord must be the same as the rates billed to the landlord. These rates must be posted in a place where tenants can read them.

Three Sub-Meters

What Is a Sub-Meter?

A “sub-meter” measures the electricity use of a single unit in a multi-family dwelling. These meter readings are added together to make one main “master meter” reading. Your landlord can use the sub-meter readings to bill you for your unit’s electricity use, but must use the rates you would receive if you were billed separately. You will receive an electric bill at the same time as your landlord so you can compare the charges.

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Getting Help with Your Electric Bill

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CARE/FERA

You may be eligible for the California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program. CARE offers income-qualified customers discounted rates on their monthly electric bills.

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Medical Baseline

If you or someone who lives with you full-time has a medical condition that requires electricity-powered life support equipment, you may be eligible to receive additional baseline allocation. Certification by a doctor is required.

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Home Energy Assistance Program

HEAP provides energy-saving products, services, and bill assistance to households who are eligible based on monthly income. HEAP is administered through community service organizations.

For more information about HEAP, call 1-866-675-6623.

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