Illinois American Water is reminding customers of the company’s customer assistance program H2O Help to Others and available payment plans. Customers who are behind in payment are encouraged to call 800-422-2782 to discuss options.
"We want to help our customers who are experiencing a hardship, whether it be due to COVID-19, loss of employment or health concerns. We understand it can be hard to get back on track once an account falls behind. This is why we have several options to help customers, including financial assistance," said Vice President of Operations Elizabeth Matthews.
In March, American Water voluntarily placed a moratorium on customer accounts to prevent shut off for non-payment and late fees for late payments. The company also reinstated service for customers who were previously shut off for nonpayment. An Illinois Commerce Commission (ICC) order approved in June allows for the reinstatement of utility procedures for nonpayment and late payments at the end of July. Illinois American Water is holding off on reinstating these procedures until September. This means a customer with an unresolved past due balance would see a late fee applied to their August service(s). This bill would be issued in September.
Matthews said, "As utilities comply with the ICC’s agreement and begin normal practices of applying late fees and shutting off for nonpayment, we want to be sure it doesn’t take our customers by surprise. It’s important they receive the assistance they need to avoid an interruption in their service."
To assist customers Illinois American Water has implemented flexible payment plans and payment options. More information about these plans are available online at illinoisamwater.com under Customer Service & Billing in the Customer Assistance Program section. The company also offers budget billing so residential customers can pay a fixed monthly payment over a period of 12 months.
In addition, Illinois American Water’s H2O Help to Others program offers financial assistance to residential customers in need. The program is offered to Illinois American Water customers and is administered by Salvation Army agencies within the company’s service area. Customers will receive a bill insert about the program in an upcoming bill. Information will also be provided in letters to customers who are behind in making payments. Information can also be found online at www.illinoisamwater.com under Customer Service & Billing in the Customer Assistance Program section.
The guidelines of the H2O Help to Others program allow customers to apply for assistance of up to $200, regardless of income. A customer only needs to have experienced a financial hardship.
Matthews explained, "Our customer assistance program is not based on income to ensure it is inclusive for all of our customers who may be experiencing hardship. It’s important we do what we can to help our customers – our friends and neighbors."
Other program guidelines include:
- Applicant must be an Illinois American Water residential water and/or wastewater customer.
- Applicant must provide a current copy of their delinquent bill to a Salvation Army caseworker.
- When appropriate, standard income guidelines established by the Salvation Army may be used. However, all circumstances will be considered where financial need is demonstrated or stated.
- The Salvation Army may assist an individual/family one time per calendar year. In extreme circumstances, the agency, in coordination with a representative from Illinois American Water, may authorize additional assistance, one time per year, but not more than twice annually.
Customers needing assistance should call Illinois American Water’s customer service center at 800-422-2782. They can also visit a local, participating Salvation Army office. Agencies are listed online at illinoisamwater.com under Customer Service & Billing in the Customer Assistance Program section. Full link here - https://amwater.com/ilaw/customer-service-billing/customer-assistance-program.
About Illinois American Water - Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE: AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state, providing high-quality and reliable water and/or wastewater services to approximately 1.3 million people. American Water also operates a customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research laboratory in Belleville.
With a history dating back to 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse U.S. publicly traded water and wastewater utility company. The company employs more than 6,800 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to 15 million people in 46 states. American Water provides safe, clean, affordable and reliable water services to our customers to make sure we keep their lives flowing. For more information, visit amwater.com and follow American Water on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Illinois American Water ranked #1 in Customer Satisfaction
with Large Water Utilities in the Midwest according to the J.D. Power
2020 Water Utility Residential Customer Satisfaction Study
For J.D. Power 2020 award information, visit jdpower.com/awards
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