“As we battle through the pandemic, trust that our workforce is dedicated to keeping our community safe and healthy. EPWater will continue essential work on the front lines, ensuring that El Pasoans have access to clean, reliable water services, which are key to preventing the spread of COVID-19” | Photo courtesy EPWater
With CARES Act utility assistance initiatives officially wrapped up, officials with El Paso Water reported that 2,437 customers received a helping hand with overdue water bills.
“Seeing El Paso Water customers get back on their feet is important to us.,” utility officials shared Tuesday. “That’s $675,734 in financial assistance to our customers who have been impacted by COVID-19.”
“Early in the pandemic, we recognized the opportunity to help our customers who were financially affected by COVID-19 and in June secured $500,000 in federal CARES Act grant funding through the City of El Paso for our utility assistance program,” officials added.
Through the COVID-19 Assistance Program, El Paso Water helped more than 1,857 residential customers and 44 small businesses with fewer than five employees pay overdue water bills. To qualify, the program required that customers live within city limits, demonstrate loss of income during the pandemic and meet certain low-income and other eligibility requirements.
Two El Paso nonprofits also received CARES Act funds and joined the efforts to provide utility assistance for community members facing economic hardship because of COVID-19.
According to EPWater, Amistad provided financial assistance to 417 families to help with overdue water bills. Project Bravo also helped expand our assistance efforts to help more than 119 residential customers with their water bills.
Both organizations also provided electric and gas utility assistance.
“Behind this great initiative is a great group of people. In this case, our team at the TecH2O Learning Center refocused their education outreach efforts to lead EPWater’s COVID-19 Assistance Program,” officials shared. “They reviewed about 4,000 applications that came in to determine eligibility. They also worked in partnership with our Customer Service representatives who processed payments, issued receipts and notified customers.”
As for those who didn’t qualify for the grant program, EPWater provided extended payment plans to ensure customers have ample time to bring their accounts in good standing.
“We realize the uncertainties surrounding the pandemic have taken a financial toll on many El Pasoans, and we are happy to help provide some financial relief,” officials said.
John Balliew, P.E., President/CEO of EPWater added, “As we battle through the pandemic, trust that our workforce is dedicated to keeping our community safe and healthy. EPWater will continue essential work on the front lines, ensuring that El Pasoans have access to clean, reliable water services, which are key to preventing the spread of COVID-19.”