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The COVID-19 pandemic placed an unexpected financial strain on families and businesses around the state, making it difficult to meet basic expenses. The Regional Water Authority (RWA) encourages customers to ease their financial burden by seeking assistance through the company’s Residential Water Assistance Program. In recognition of the unique challenges facing many people, the RWA is temporarily making this program available to more residential customers. In addition, it is provisionally expanding the program to commercial and industrial customers.
RWA residential customers living at or below 250% of the Federal Poverty Income Guidelines are eligible for the Residential Water Assistance Program. This is a temporary increase from the previous eligibility of 175%. Income guidelines depend on the size of the household applying for the program. For example, a family of four could now qualify for the program if their annual income is $65,500 or less. Qualifying applicants can receive up to $175 toward their water bills. These grants will help customers who may have fallen behind while out of work or working less than normal, get back on their feet.
Residential customers interested in applying for the Residential Water Assistance Program should contact Dollar Energy, RWA’s partner on this initiative, toll-free at 1-888-282-6816. Callers will be connected with Dollar Energy’s Program Coordinator who will provide free, confidential assistance. Customers can also contact the RWA for information at 203-562-4020.
The RWA is also temporarily making assistance available to small commercial and industrial customers. Small businesses, defined in this instance as those using 5/8” meters, can apply for assistance using an online form administered by Dollar Energy, the RWA’s partner in this initiative, and submitting a copy of their most recent water bill.
Businesses can qualify for the program if they were impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes businesses such as restaurants or hair salons that temporarily closed. It also includes those businesses that remained open but can explain how they were financially impacted. For example, dairy farms have remained open, but may have lost business due to being unable to supply milk to schools. Many restaurants also remained open, but lost business due to the pandemic and could qualify for financial assistance. Commercial and industrial customers will be eligible for a grant of up to $200.