Evansville: Water Bill Relief Program

(March 1, 2022)  The City of Evansville will allocate $4 million in federal funds to the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility (EWSU) for a new program that will provide relief to individuals and households who qualify for help paying their water bills.

The Evansville Water and Sewer Utility relief program will aid customers with the greatest financial need in these ways:
  • To offset the proposed water rate increase, customers who qualify may apply for an annual credit – equal to the annual water rate increase – to lighten their utility bill.
  • Additional funding will be available to qualifying customers who are facing water shutoff status – up to $250 a year – to help more households keep water service turned on.  

The new relief program will be based on guidelines used by the Community Action Program of Evansville (CAPE) to administer programs funded with state and federal dollars. Households with a combined maximum income of $55,400 a year may be eligible for assistance. The maximum annual benefit will be $250 per household facing water shutoff status. City and EWSU officials estimate that 43,000 of the 63,000 households that EWSU serves are eligible to qualify.

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Evansville Mayor Lloyd Winnecke and EWSU Executive Director Lane Young said preparations are being made to launch the program this summer. Details on how to apply will be announced at a later date.

"With money from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) Act, our administration is able to provide seed money for a two-year program that will help individuals and households who are stretched the most while giving the City and Utility time to seek other funding that will sustain the program for years to come," said Mayor Winnecke.

Young said, "With two thirds of our customers likely qualifying for this relief, we know there is great need for this program. I truly hope our community members who qualify will take advantage of it. Too often, programs like these go underutilized."

The program will allocate $2 million in assistance this year and $2 million in 2023. Approximately $1.3 million to $1.5 million is the amount projected for water credits to offset the water rate increase, depending on the number of households qualifying for assistance. The remainder of the funds will go to preventing shutoffs.

More information on qualifications will be available this spring online at ewsu.com and at the EWSU office, Room 104, at the Civic Center. The water bill credits will start when a proposed water rate increase goes into effect. The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission is expected to announce a decision on the EWSU rate case this month.

Filed Under: Government, City

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