Over the last two years, Illinois American Water helped more than 15,500 residential customers receive financial assistance to help keep water service flowing. The support came through the Company’s customer assistance program, H2O Help to Others, as well as customer grants credited to qualifying accounts.
“We understand it can be hard to get back on track once an account falls behind. We want to help our customers receive the assistance they need and avoid service interruption,” said Beth Matthews, Vice President of Operations.
Illinois American Water’s H2O Help to Others program offers financial assistance to residential customers in need. The program is administered by Salvation Army agencies within the company’s service area. Information, including Salvation Army contact information, can be found online at illinoisamwater.com under Customer Service & Billing in the Customer Assistance Program section. The H2O Help to Others program provides customers who have experienced a financial hardship up to $200 in assistance, regardless of income.
Matthews explained, “Our customer assistance program is not based on income to support an inclusive approach for all of our residential customers who may be experiencing a hardship. It’s important we do what we can to help.”
The H2O Help to Others program is supported by contributions from Illinois American Water as well as contributions from customers. Information regarding the program and how to donate is included on Illinois American Water’s customer bills.
In addition to financial assistance, customers may also qualify to enroll in a payment plan to pay the balance of their bill over time. The company also offers budget billing so residential customers can pay a fixed monthly payment over a period of 12 months. Customers are not automatically enrolled in these programs and must call 800-422-2782 to enroll. More information can be found at illinoisamwater.com.
Customers may also be eligible for assistance through a new federal program – Low Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP). LIHWAP is a new, temporary federal emergency program to help qualifying low-income customers pay their overdue water and wastewater bills. Qualifying customers can receive one crisis grant each for water service and wastewater service. More information is available at https://www2.illinois.gov/dceo/CommunityServices/HomeWeatherization/CommunityActionAgencies/Pages/default.aspx. Customers can also contact the LIHWAP hotline at 877-411-WARM (9276).