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EPA's Customer Assistance Programs for Water Utilities

Tuesday, June 14, 2016   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Heather Beard
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Drinking water and wastewater utilities across the country are changing the way they do business to help all members of their communities maintain access to vital drinking water and wastewater services.  In every community across the country, there are some customers that will have difficulty paying their water bills. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 46.7 million people (14.8 percent of the U.S. population) lived in poverty in 2014 (DeNavas-Walt and Proctor 2015). Other people experience unexpected crises that affect their ability to pay. As a result, many utilities have developed Customer Assistance Programs that use bill discounts, special rate structures, and other means as an approach to help financially constrained customers maintain access to drinking water and wastewater services while protecting the utilities’ bottom lines. 


The USEPA has researched these Customer Assistance Programs, and compiled a report that may help other utilities develop CAPs.  Several South Carolina Utilities have developed CAPs, and the following are featured in the EPA's report:  Beaufort Jasper Water & Sewer Authority, Charleston Water, Greer CPW, ReWa and Spartanburg Water.  The full report prepared by the USEPA is available for download by clicking here. 

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