Evansville Water and Sewer Utility Partnership Awards Over $100,000 in Utility Bill Assistance Since June 2017
More than $100,000 in utility bill assistance has been provided to Evansville residents since the launch of a partnership between Evansville Water and Sewer Utility (EWSU), the Community Action Program of Evansville (CAPE), and HomeServe USA (HomeServe).
June marks the second year of an agreement between EWSU and HomeServe to offer low-cost water and sewer line repair service plans to local homeowners so they can be better prepared to manage the costs of emergency repairs to these systems. More than 3,300 EWSU customers have chosen to sign up for one or more of the service plans.
The utility receives 10 percent of all HomeServe policies sold to EWSU customers, which funds a Water Bill Assistance Program administered by CAPE. Since June 2017, CAPE has processed over 500 applications for assistance from low-income households, and has awarded a total of $100,885 in utility bill assistance through end of May 2019.
EWSU Director Allen Mounts said homeowners are often under the impression that the utility is responsible for water line leaks and sewer breaks on their property, when in fact homeowners are responsible for facilitating the repairs and paying for the costs. Mounts said the utility also identified a need in the community to aid customers who become frustrated with the high cost and hassle of unexpected repairs to their water and sewer lines resulting from the aging infrastructure in our community.
HomeServe is a low-cost optional solution to help homeowners with emergency repairs, while generating revenue to provide financial assistance to qualifying utility customers who need help paying their utility bill.
“We are making this program available as an option. We do not tell customers to buy it,” Mounts said. “We encourage utility customers to determine what their specific needs are when considering the service plans. Many residential customers who own older homes may have deteriorating clay sewer lines and /or old water lines on their property that would be very expensive to replace. Customers should also check with their insurance agent to determine if similar coverage exists under their home insurance policy. Those are a couple of the issues homeowners should think about.”
Homeowners who sign-up for one of the HomeServe service plans receive access to a Repair Hotline 24-hours a day year-round, and HomeServe will arrange for a local, licensed and insured contractor to provide high-quality home repairs in a timely manner.
HomeServe service plan options include external water line coverage, sewer and septic line coverage, and in-home plumbing coverage ranging from $5.99 to $12.99 per month. Households qualifying for the Water Bill Assistance Program can receive up to $250 every 12-month period on the disconnect amount or to reconnect water service. The average household benefit is approximately $190.