Reduced rates help customers avoid higher bills at a time when many can least afford it.
AUSTIN - Today, Austin City Council approved a recommendation from Austin Water to continue a 10 percent reduction in water and wastewater rates for our most vulnerable low-income customers enrolled in the City of Austin’s Customer Assistance Program (CAP) for the entirety of fiscal year 2021.
This utility bill relief in response to COVID-19 took effect on April 9, 2020 and included a $5 million contribution to the Plus 1 program, as well as additional measures to halt disconnects for non-payment, waive late fees and place customers in need on payment plans. Since that time City of Austin Utilities has provided $3,195,290 of financial assistance to 9,652 customers through the City’s Plus 1 Emergency Financial Support System.
“We want to make sure that the safety net remains in place for the most vulnerable low-income customers who may be struggling financially during this prolonged COVID-19 event,” said David Anders, Assistant Director of Austin Water Financial Services. “The reduced rates help CAP customers avoid higher bills at a time when many can least afford it."
Additionally, as part of the approved budget, Austin City Council provided direction to Austin Water to develop a more accessible multi-family CAP discount program. The utility will return to Council in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2021 to describe the program's fiscal impacts and seek approval of implementation, including any necessary budget amendments.
The reduced residential water (Tiers 1-3) and wastewater (Tiers 1-2) volume rates for Customer Assistance Program customers are currently in place and will be extended until October 2021.
For eligibility requirements or information about additional assistance offered through the City of Austin Customer Assistance Program, customers can contact City of Austin Utilities at (512) 494-9400 or visit austinbillhelp.com
The Customer Assistance Program offers some of the most affordable water and wastewater rates in the nation and is recognized among the best in the water industry – a source of pride for the utility as it continues its multi-year push to make water service more affordable.
Improving affordability is a component of the utility’s long-term strategic business plan that uses Effective Utility Management strategies to meet the challenges ahead. The utility continues to find savings through cost containment, debt management and innovations in technology and processes. Cost savings are then passed along to customers in the way of rate reductions, rebates, and financial assistance for customers.