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Emergency Relief Program Launched by Cal Water for Customers Affected by Natural Disasters
As numerous fires rage through California due to epic winds, low humidity and tinder-dry brush, customers of California Water Service (Cal Water) who are faced with evacuations and damage and/or the destruction of their homes will welcome the news that the water agency has recently launched an emergency disaster relief program. The program extends water service protections to both residential and small business customers in accordance with California Public Utilities Commission D. 19-07-015.
“Part of our commitment to our customers and communities includes supporting those who have been affected by natural disasters,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, president and CEO. “And, in order to continue fulfilling our promise to provide quality, service, and value, we want to take comprehensive, meaningful steps to make our customers’ water service one less thing they need to worry about.”
California Water Service serves about 2 million people through 486,900 service connections in California. Cal Water customers who experience emergency conditions due to wildfires and other natural disasters such as flooding or earthquakes can seek assistance through Cal Fire’s new Emergency Relief Program.
Following a qualifying disaster, Cal Water will automatically close accounts for homes destroyed and waive the final bill; suspend collection activities including disconnection for non-payment and related fees; provide bill credits for customers who had to evacuate or whose homes become uninhabitable, to account for the time not able to be home; offer extended payment plan options on a case-by-case basis; waive any deposit requirements for those seeking to reestablish service; and freeze certification reviews for its low-income ratepayer assistance program.
Worsening weather conditions in California, including an extended fire season, epics winds that are being blamed for worsening fires, dramatic and even sudden flooding, and sea rise are being blamed on climate change. In spite of numerous federal, state and local efforts to control and mitigate these situations, California continues to see a growing and worsening number of natural disasters.
For more information on Cal Water’s new Emergency Relief Program, go to: www.calwater.com.