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In 2021, we set a goal to expand awareness and increase enrollment in our Customer Assistance Programs. This past year, our newly launched PGH2O Cares team hit the ground running to reach those most in need of these essential programs. As a result of their relentless work, 5,217 customers were enrolled in our Bill Discount Program.

This increase of 21% from 2020 reflects the important nature of the outreach and engagement that is needed to encourage enrollment. There are still many more people who can benefit from these programs and the PGH2O Cares team will continue their important work to increase enrollment

As part of our 2021 rate setting process, further enhancements were made to our Customer Assistance Programs to simplify the enrollment process and offer more discounts to more customers. The program enhancements went into effect on January 12, 2022.  

The Bill Discount Program, first introduced in 2018, continues to be our most robust program. In addition to a 100% discount on the first 1,000 gallons of fixed water charges, customers enrolled in the program will automatically receive an 85% discount on the stormwater charge, while very low-income customers will receive an additional 50% discount on water usage charges. The monthly credit on past due balances doubled from $15 to $30 for on-time payments made by customers who are enrolled in the Bill Discount Program and on an active payment plan.

Additionally, sewage-only customers are now eligible for the Hardship Grant Program, all confirmed low-income customers are automatically enrolled in the Winter Shutoff Moratorium, and we continue to waive reconnection fees for all customers through 2022.

At the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority, we firmly believe that no one should have to choose between paying their water bill and other essential expenses.