LOS ANGELES (January 18, 2023) – The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) completed distribution of $85 million in utility bill assistance funds to eligible residential customers as part of its efforts to continue to help Angelenos catch up on their unpaid, past due electricity and city sanitation bills. The funds were credited to the utility accounts of eligible customers by LADWP over the Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday weekend.
Of the $85 million, $76 million in credits were distributed directly to 137,478 LADWP customers provided through the State of California’s 2022 California Arrearage Payment Program (2022 CAPP). LADWP also distributed $9 million in credits to 31,425 LA City Sanitation customers provided through the City’s Solid Resource Fee Relief Program. Customers can view their specific credit amounts on the LADWP My Account online portal, or when they receive their next LADWP utility bill.
Recognizing the devastating financial impacts of the pandemic on families, this relief is the result of LADWP’s aggressive pursuit and implementation of every resource available to assist its customers.
“As Angelenos continue to feel the economic fallout of the pandemic, this critical relief will help people keep the lights on, put food on the table and pay the rent,” said Mayor Bass. “I thank LADWP for going above and beyond for its customers.”
“While we continue to emerge from the pandemic many of our families and businesses are still recovering financially from this devastating and unprecedented time,” said Cynthia McClain-Hill, President of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners. “We will utilize every available resource and program that LADWP can access, to assist our most vulnerable customers. That includes this new relief package from the State as well as protecting our most vulnerable customers from utility shutoffs, under a policy adopted by the Board of Water & Power Commissioners to assist low-income EZ-SAVE and Lifeline enrolled customers who have fallen behind on their bills.
The California Legislature established the 2022 CAPP to assist residential customers who fell behind on their electricity bills during the COVID-19 pandemic, between March 4, 2020 and December 31, 2021. Thirty-three energy utilities, including LADWP, applied for 2022 CAPP funding on behalf of over 1.4 million eligible statewide residential customers. Participating state energy utilities are required to apply the 2022 CAPP bill credit to their customer accounts within 60 days of receiving the funds.
This most recent customer relief aid comes on the heels of similar packages in 2022 and 2021 designed to help those who have fallen behind on their utility bills due to the pandemic.
In 2022, LADWP distributed more than $275 million in credits from the State of California’s Water and Wastewater Arrearage Program (CWWAPP) and the California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP) funds to erase unpaid water and energy debt carried by more than 250,000 income-qualified customers. LADWP also dedicated an additional $15 million to complement the state and federal funding to further assist income-qualified customers who continue to need assistance.
In June 2022, LADWP issued $55 million in customer credits to assist 70,000 eligible LASAN customers who fell behind on paying wastewater service charges. These credits were part of the COVID-19 relief provided by CWWAPP to address water debt—both drinking water as well as wastewater, accrued between March 4, 2020 and June 15, 2021.
In February 2021, LADWP provided more than $33 million to 67,000 low-income customers in a one-time utility debt relief action funded through the CARES Act, which was disseminated through $500 direct checks to customers.
“We want to make sure our customers do not go without critical water and power services even in tough financial times,” said Martin Adams, LADWP General Manager and Chief Engineer. “We’re grateful to our state and federal partners who make it possible for us to assist struggling families during these tough times. Our main priority remains letting customers know that financial help is available and helping connect them to assistance programs and resources.”
Under the City’s Safer at Home Order in March 2020, LADWP was directed to enact a moratorium on utility shut-offs due to late payments. While LADWP extended the moratorium through the end of March 2022, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners approved a policy last November to end water and power shutoffs for low-income residential customers unable to pay their utility bills. The department also offers flexible payment plans for customers who have fallen behind on their utility bills. Customers in need of help paying their LADWP bill should call 1-800-DIAL-DWP or visit ladwp.com/FinancialAssistance for more information.