Funding has been made available to Los Angeles residents for utility debt relief throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and while some of it was automatically applied to some bills, there are other funding programs that people can apply to.
City lawmakers and LADWP officials gathered Wednesday for a news conference to help make sure L.A. residents know about different programs they can turn to for help with utility bills.
“In addition to the state funds credited to the accounts of eligible LADWP customers, we want to get the word out that there is still more help available including discount programs for income-eligible customers, rebates and flexible, extended payment arrangements,” LADWP General Manager Martin Adams said. “We want every customer who is still struggling to reach out to us for assistance.”
LADWP customers who are past due or need help staying current on their payments can check out the following options:
- Automatic credit: LADWP got nearly $300 million instate funds to support customers. The money is already being applied as automatic credits to eligible residential customer’s bills. It deals with customer debt accumulated between March 2020 to June 2021. More information is available here.
- Housing is Key Rent and Utility Assistance Program: Rent and past-due utility bills help for tenants that meet specific income requirements. Apply here.
- Low Income Household Water Assistance Program: Helps with residential water utility costs for low-income Californians. Apply here.
- Low-Income Household Energy Assistance Program: Helps low-income households who pay a high portion of their income on energy bills. This program recently received nearly $500 million in new federal funding. Apply here or call 866-674-6327
- EZ-SAVE Low Income Customer Assistance Program: Offers income-qualified residential customers a discount to help reduce the cost of electricity, water and sewer services. Apply here.
More assistance programs can be found here.
Late last year, the Board of Water and Power Commissioners voted unanimously to extend the utility shutoff moratorium to March 31, 2022.
The extension is meant to allow time for the state’s relief bill credits to be applied to residential customer accounts, and make sure customers have time to access other assistance programs.
“I can’t overstate how important this is,” L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti said. “Because we know rent relief, utility relief, the Angeleno cards, whatever comes in, money is money, is money. And when you’re struggling to pay your bills, and to figure out what food you can put on the table or whether or not you can pay for your rent, this money has made a huge difference.”
More information on debt relief can be found online here. Those who need help can call LADWP 1-800-342-5397.