For the first time in a long time, fewer low-income customers are taking part in the Turlock Irrigation District’s electricity discount program.
TID granted $2.6 million in discounts to local low-income households through its its TID CARES program this year, up roughly $50,000 from a year ago.
“The cost has gone up, slightly, but the participation went down by 145 customers,” said TID Customer Service Department Manager Nancy Folly. “That’s the first drop we’ve seen in quite some time.”
Folly postulated that the recovering economy might be responsible for the decline in CARES customers. As the Great Recession took effect, the TID CARES program’s costs surged from $1.5 million to $2 million in one year.
This year’s slight cost increase came due to TID’s rising rates, up 4 percent this year.
To be eligible for CARES, households must meet certain income levels. One or two-person households must earn $23,595 or less, three-person households $29,685, and four-person households $35,775. An additional $6,090 in income is allowed for each further house member.
CARES customers may not be claimed as a dependent on another person’s income tax return.
For more information on TID CARES, or to apply, visit http://www.tid.org/for-home/assistance-programs/tid-cares-program.