SFPUC Launches Emergency Community Assistance Program to Help Residential Customers Pay Water, Sewer and Hetch Hetchy Power Bills

SFPUC Contact:
Will Reisman


May 12, 2020

SFPUC Launches Emergency Community Assistance Program to Help Residential Customers Pay Water, Sewer and Hetch Hetchy Power Bills
Initiative will provide discounts of up to 35 percent for residential customers impacted by COVID-19 pandemic 

San Francisco, CA –The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) today announced an emergency community assistance program to help residential customers struggling to pay their water, sewer and Hetch Hetchy power bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Each week brings a devastating new update to our country’s unemployment figures and creates economic hardships that we cannot ignore,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “By providing discounts on the critical services provided by the SFPUC, we can offer some form of economic relief for the thousands of local residential customers impacted by this terrible global outbreak. Our customers should not have to worry about making tradeoffs between paying their utility bills or buying groceries.”

Residential customers who have been financially impacted as a result of COVID-19 or the shelter-in-place order and have a maximum household income under 200 percent of the San Francisco Area Median Income will be eligible to apply.

The following reduced rates will be available:

  • 35 percent off sewer bills;
  • 30 percent off Hetch Hetchy power bills; and
  • 15 percent off water bills

This temporary program will be applied retroactively, dating back effectively to March 4. To enroll in the program, eligible customers can complete an online application form here. The program will expire on September 4.

To qualify for the program, residential customers must demonstrate the following:

  • Be a residential customer seeking a discount for your primary residence, with an SFPUC account serving only your dwelling unit under your own name; and
  • Have experienced a loss of income related to COVID-19 or the shelter-in-place order and be experiencing financial hardship and difficulty paying your water and sewer and/or Hetch Hetchy power bills.

The SFPUC already offers discounted rates to customers whose income makes them eligible under federal guidelines through its Community Assistance Program (CAP). The agency is working to proactively reach out to customers who may qualify for this longer-term savings program. Customers in those programs will continue to receive benefits following the expiration of the emergency CAP expansion.

In addition to launching the temporary customer assistance program, the SFPUC suspended water and power shutoffs due to late payments, an initiative that has recently been extended. The agency has also postponed liens and collections, waived late fees and provided rental payment deferments for tenants of our facilities.

About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residential customers, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at www.sfwater.org.