IOWA AMERICAN WATER FILES WITH IOWA UTILITIES BOARD TO APPROVE NEW DISCOUNT PROGRAM FOR LOW INCOME CUSTOMERS
Pilot program would offer year-round financial assistance to qualifying customers
DAVENPORT, IA (June 23, 2020) – Iowa American Water filed a request recently with the Iowa Utilities Board, the company’s state regulatory agency in Des Moines, seeking to establish a low income discount pilot program for qualifying customers.
“While we have made sincere efforts to make water service even more affordable for those customers in the greatest need, water service costs have increased over the years due to much needed capital investment to provide for the continued reliability of water service and to meet new, more stringent quality regulations,” said President Randy Moore. “The COVID-19 health emergency has dramatically increased financial needs for many of our customers which motivated us to embark on this effort as a way to lessen the impact for those customers who are struggling to make ends meet.”
Iowa American Water is proposing that the discount pilot program be available to all residential customers who meet the Iowa Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (“LIHEAP”) guidelines as determined by the local Community Action of Eastern Iowa agency. If approved, customers qualifying in 2020 would be eligible to receive a discount on their monthly meter charge retroactively to March 13, 2020 in order to coincide with the approximate beginning of the COVID-19 emergency.
If the low income customer discount program is approved by the Iowa Utilities Board, qualified residential Iowa American Water customers would receive a direct discount of 80% of the monthly meter charge based on a 5/8” meter for 12 months. The current meter charge is $14.00 per month, and the resulting discount would be $11.20 on each monthly water bill.
“Although water bills are among the lowest household bills Iowans pay, our rates must reflect the true cost of providing service, which includes our capital investments as well as all of the operating costs associated with the treatment, monitoring and distribution of your water,” Moore said. “Our current rates provide our customers with high quality water service at an exceptional value. If our proposed low income customer discount program is approved, some qualified customers will receive additional financial assistance on this valuable service.”
The cost of this low income customer discount program would be funded by savings the company is realizing from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017.
The company is proposing that the pilot program would expire three years after the effective date or on the effective date of implementation of new rates following a rate case, whichever comes first, or as ordered by the Iowa Utilities Board. For over two decades, Iowa American Water has offered utility assistance through its H2O “Help to Others” emergency assistance program administered by Community Action of Eastern Iowa. The program provides one-time grants to customers who would otherwise have trouble paying their bills. The addition of Iowa American Water’s proposed new, low income customer discount program would allow qualified customers to receive assistance each month year round.
About Iowa American Water
Iowa American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investorowned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water services to approximately 216,000 people. With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram.
About American Water Charitable Foundation
The American Water Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides a formal way to demonstrate the company’s ongoing commitment to being a good neighbor, citizen, and contributor to the communities where American Water and its employees live, work and operate. The Foundation helps support American Water employee-identified nonprofit endeavors.
Lisa Reisen, External Affairs Manager