PWSA continues suspension of water shutoffs through March 31 of 2021
November 3, 2020
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority's Board of Directors has adopted a resolution to continue the suspension of water shutoffs through March 31, 2021.
This extension follows the timeline of PWSA's Winter Shutoff Moratorium and applies to all residential customers regardless of income.
The board's decision follows an October 8 order issued by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), which allows water disconnections to resume on November 9 for all residential and non-residential customers. The state order continues to protect residential customers that are at or below 300% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and requires utilities to offer payment plans for non-residential customers.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, PWSA has taken steps to protect customers and make it easier for customers to access and enroll in its Customer Assistance Programs. In addition to suspending water shutoffs, they have also waived the recertification requirements for the Bill Discount Program and the sincere effort payment typically required for those enrolled in the Hardship Grant Program. These changes are currently in effect through the end of the year.
The recent rate settlement proposal submitted to the PUC on September 30 includes several enhancements to assistance programs. If approved by the PUC, the discount available through the Bill Discount Program would increase from 75% on fixed charges to 100% and some eligible customers could receive a 20% reduction on water usage charges. The threshold for our Winter Shutoff Moratorium would increase from 250% of the FPL to 300%. Under PWSA's expanded customer assistance outreach program, they hope to increase enrollment in assistance programs and help customers reduce their bills. If approved by the PUC, these changes will be effective on or after January 14, 2021.
"Extending the shutoff moratorium for all of our residential customers until next spring is the responsible action in light of continued uncertainty from the pandemic," stated Will Pickering, PWSA Executive Director. "Families that are struggling to stay current on their bills are encouraged to contact us. We have simplified enrollment for our assistance programs and are offering flexible payment arrangements to help reduce unpaid balances. We hope that our customers will take advantage of these programs during this difficult time."
For more information about our Customer Assistance Programs, visit www.pgh2o.com/CAP and to enroll, contact Dollar Energy Fund at (866) 762-2348. For more information about the recent rate settlement, visit www.pgh2o.com/ourwaterfuture.