(Austin)— Austin City Council today passed a series of changes to the Utility Service Regulations recommended by Austin Water, as part of a plan to improve the customer experience.
Austin Water recommended changes to several sections of the City Code Chapter 15-9, Utility Service Regulations, including changes to City Code 15-9-141 Adjustment of Excess Water Bill if Leaks are Repaired and 15-9-142, Adjustment of High Volume Water Bill.
“Providing affordable and reliable water with great customer service is a top priority at Austin Water,” said Greg Meszaros, Director of Austin Water. “The changes made to the Utility Service Regulations will provide greater relief to customers who experience unexpected high water bills.”
Austin Water has been engaged in multi-yearlong efforts to improve the customer experience and affordability. Initiatives include:
a water and wastewater rate freeze in 2017;
a rate reduction for all retail customers in May 2018 (saving rate payers a total of $26.7 million). Additionally, Austin Water projects that the rates will stay flat into the year 2019 and 2020;
review and recommend important changes to the Utility Service Regulations, including:
providing more flexibility in determining typical water usage when determining water leak and high bill adjustments, resulting in more customers being able to qualify for relief;
allowing customers to receive up to 100% credit for leak adjustments. (formerly only 50% was forgiven over expected volume, the remaining 50% was billed at flat rate);
allowing rate payers who have been customers of Austin Water for a minimum of four months (in addition to the disputed period) to apply for high bill adjustments which used to require 12 months;
providing an avenue for customers who have been denied an adjustment to pursue an administrative hearing.
…plus ongoing improvements to the Customer Assistance Program for low-income residents.
ABOUT AUSTIN WATER - For more than 100 years, Austin Water has been committed to providing safe, reliable, high quality, sustainable and affordable water services to our customers. Austin Water consistently ranks among the best in the country when it comes to water quality. For more information, visit austinwater.org.