Cal Water Cares Hardship Program

The Cal Water Cares Hardship Program, which is administered by Dollar Energy Fund, assists eligible utility customers with their California Water Service Company bills. Customers may be eligible to receive a one-time grant that is applied directly to their utility bill. Program guidelines and eligibility requirements are subject to change.


2022 – 2023 Cal Water Cares Hardship Program

Program Dates

Open from October 3, 2022, through September 30, 2023, for services that are off or in threat of termination.

Grants are dispersed on a first come, first serve basis to eligible applicants while funding is available.

Sincere Effort of Payment

Applicants must have paid at least $75 on their Cal Water account in the three months prior to applying for a grant.

Senior Citizens, age 62 and over, must have paid $50 on their accounts in the three months prior to applying for a grant.

Pledges made on an applicant’s behalf and other grants cannot be counted toward the sincere effort of payment. Exceptions may be made in cases of extreme hardships.

Balance Requirement

Applicants must have an outstanding balance on their Cal Water bill of at least $100.

Maximum Grant

The maximum grant amount an applicant may receive is $200.

Applicants can only receive one grant per utility, per program year. (10/3/2022 – 9/30/2023)

Grant awards are based on need and each family’s circumstances are different. Grant amounts are determined on a case-to-case basis.

If a customer’s utility service is off or in threat of termination when they apply and the maximum grant amount will not restore service or stop termination, the application will be denied. The amount needed to restore service or stop a termination is determined by utility review. Notification will be sent to the customer advising them that their application was denied and that an additional payment is required in order to be considered for assistance.

Additional Guidelines

All applicants must provide verification of income.

Income-eligible clients must apply for all federally-funded programs when those programs are open.

Account must be residential, single home or apartment. No “cooking only,” commercial, industrial, or apartments with shared utility service.

Name on account must be that of an adult who is currently living in the home.

Dollar Energy Fund grants cannot be used to cover security deposits or reconnection fees.

Income Guidelines

Total gross household income must be at or below 200% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines.

Use our Income Calculator to find out if your gross (before tax) income is within the range of eligibility for our programs.

How to Apply

The best way to start seeking help is by calling your utility company, who will provide you with information on a number of different assistance programs that are available to help low-income utility customers.

The Cal Water Cares Hardship Program also partners with a network of Community Based Organizations. These dedicated agencies provide application intake services for clients. After speaking with a representative at Cal Water, you will be referred to an agency in your area. This agency will complete your application for assistance.

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