The Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) has provided millions in utility assistance grants to families in need since January
In less than six months since its availability, the new Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) has provided more than $5 million in water and wastewater bill assistance grants to Pennsylvania American Water customers in need. The temporary emergency program, which was financed by $43 million in federal funding and authorized last year by the Pennsylvania General Assembly, is administered by the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services. Since the program began accepting applications on January 4, 2022, eligible Pennsylvania American Water customers have received more than 8,000 grants totaling over $5.1 million toward past-due water and wastewater bills.
“The success of the LIHWAP program in assisting our customers has truly been remarkable,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Mike Doran. “Our existing H2O Help to Others hardship grants, low-income discount program, payment arrangements, and additional COVID-19 customer protections have gone a long way to help keep water flowing to customers experiencing difficulty paying their bills, but LIHWAP’s tremendous impact has been and continues to be an extra, needed support for customers.”
To promote LIHWAP to potentially eligible customers, the company sent a series of targeted direct mail and email campaigns and regularly shares program information on its social media channels. The company also partners with local community organizations to promote all of the water and wastewater assistance programs available to its customers.
Because the eligibility criteria for LIHWAP grants is the same as the company’s low-income discount program, which saves the average residential customer $18.94 on their monthly water bill and $20.38 on their monthly wastewater bill, the company’s local customer advocacy team works diligently to cross-reference all LIHWAP grant recipients with its discount program enrollees and automatically enrolls grant recipients in the discount program. As a result, more than 4,000 customers have been newly enrolled in the company’s discounted bill program.
“I applaud the work of the PA General Assembly and the Department of Human Services for expeditiously and effectively funding and administering this program for the benefit of water and wastewater customers across the Commonwealth,” Doran continued. “This program’s widespread success clearly demonstrates the need to change this from a temporary to a permanent program at the Federal level.”
Unlike the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), which is an annual heating assistance program, LIHWAP is only temporary and is scheduled to close Sept. 30, 2023, or whenever all funds are expended. According to the PA Department of Human Services, as of June 18, the program has approximately $11.2 million in remaining funds available for eligible water and wastewater customers across the Commonwealth.
About Pennsylvania American Water
Pennsylvania American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and wastewater services to approximately 2.4 million 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 6,400 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and regulated-like drinking water and wastewater services to more than 14 million people in 24 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to help keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and diversityataw.com. Follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn
Sr. Director, Government & External Affairs