For Immediate Release: February 7, 2022
Contact: Brian.Rademaekers@phila.gov | (215) 380-9327
#UtilityFairsPHL: Virtual Help with Lowering Water and Other Philadelphia Utility Bills
With water shutoffs set to resume after a two-year pause, #UtilityFairsPHL brings utilities together for a series of virtual assistance fairs in February and March.
PHILADELPHIA – Philadelphia utility customers in need of help with bills may be able to qualify for lower monthly payments and will have the chance to get personalized help from customer assistance experts.
A series of virtual events, spread throughout February and March, will be held to help get customers past the hurdle of starting an application by making it easier to fill out paperwork and forms.
This effort, organized by the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) in partnership with PECO and Philadelphia Gas Works (PGW), is to encourage residents to apply for customer assistance now before enforcement actions on delinquent accounts, such as water shutoffs, resume. The moratorium on water shutoffs for past-due residential accounts is currently set to expire on March 31, 2022. Applying for assistance now can help customers avoid losing water service and having to pay restoration fees.
In addition, customers with past-due water bills may be eligible for grants from the new Pennsylvania Department of Human Services Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). Philadelphia Water Department customers may receive up to $5,000 towards delinquent water bills. To learn more and apply, visit https://www.dhs.pa.gov/waterhelp.
#UtilityFairsPHL sessions will feature customer service staff from PWD and PECO. PGW customers can sign up to have a representative reach out to them directly for assistance. The effort is organized through the utilities and community organizations.
Beginning Wednesday, February 9, the events will be held on Wednesday evenings in February and March from 4–8 p.m. and select Saturdays from 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
The events are being held virtually on Zoom and are by appointment only. Customers must register at water.phila.gov/utility-fairs.
Participants who RSVP will get follow-up information about what paperwork is needed to apply for help during the February and March sessions. Checklists are also provided in English and Spanish on the registration page.
“Our one-stop application process allows customers to set up lower monthly water bills based on income, senior citizen status, and even Special Hardship situations,” said PWD Commissioner Randy E. Hayman, Esq. “Today, thanks to tireless outreach and strong partners that allow us to do events like these Utility Fairs, tens of thousands of Philadelphia families are enrolled in our programs.”
Qualifying customers will be enrolled in the program that provides the biggest savings. In order for staff to determine the best fit, customers must provide documents showing household income and other information.
Customers can request an application or apply for assistance at www.phila.gov/water-bill-help. Applications can also be requested by calling (215) 685-6300.