Our customer assistance programs, established in 2018, support our most vulnerable customers. During our 2020 rate-setting process with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), we worked with community stakeholders and state agencies to incorporate several enhancements to simplify the enrollment process and expand access to more customers.
The program expansions went into effect on January 14, 2021 and are available to income-qualiﬁed customers. Our goal in 2021 is to increase awareness and enrollment in these programs. Though 4,300 households enrolled in the Bill Discount Program, many more are eligible.
We are offering a generous discount through the Bill Discount Program of $35.78—a 100% discount on the ﬁrst 1,000 gallons of ﬁxed water charges. An additional rate reduction on water usage is also available for very low-income customers enrolled in the program. Customers enrolled in this program who use up to 5,000 gallons of water per month will see a reduction in their total monthly bill.
Additionally, we expanded eligibility for the Winter Hardship Moratorium to customers at 300% of the federal poverty level and launched PGH2O Cares, an expanded outreach program to increase enrollment and help customers reduce their bills.
During this challenging time, no one should have to choose between paying a water bill and another essential expense. We are making every possible effort to protect our most vulnerable customers.