LOS ANGELES - Low-income residents in Los Angeles who are unable to pay their utility bills will no longer have to worry about having their water or electricity shut off as a result.
A new motion adopted Nov. 8 by the Los Angeles Board of Water and Power Commissioners now directs the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to stop the practice of water and power shutoffs "as a debt collection tool," officials said in a statement.
Under the motion, those enrolled in LADWP’s EZ-SAVE program - which offers income-qualified residential customers with a discount to help reduce the cost of electricity, water, and sewer service - as well as those enrolled in the Senior Citizen Lifeline Discount Program, will be eligible for shutoff protection.
The motion also prohibits shutoffs for all customers during extreme weather events, such as extreme heat episodes that can harm public health, safety and welfare.
"It can be difficult enough to struggle to survive the economic disruption, including job loss, caused by a global pandemic and then face extreme heat or the upcoming bitter cold without essential utilities that are directly tied to your quality of life, and that, of course includes water," said L.A. Board of Water and Power Commission President Cynthia McClain-Hill. "We are acting to follow through on our previous pledge to our customers in most financial need: ‘We’re here to help.’ We intend to work with you to address your needs without adding to your stress and fears that your utility services will be cutoff while we help you afford and manage them with our continuing assistance going forward."
LADWP has 146,723 customers currently enrolled in its EZ-SAVE discount program and 89,591 customers in its Senior Citizen Lifeline Discount Program that now become eligible for shutoff protection.
You can learn more about the program by tapping or clicking here.