riversideca.gov
COVID-19/Coronavirus Update

CA Assistance

Published: 11/1/2021




California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program & California Arrearage Payment Program

 

New state programs dedicating nearly $2 billion in funding will offer financial assistance for California water, wastewater and/or electric customers for past-due debts incurred from March 4, 2020 to June 15, 2021.

Eligible Riverside Public Utilities residential and commercial (if the state funding is sufficient) customers will soon be receiving financial assistance from new programs the state of California is launching and administering to help those who have been economically impacted during the pandemic and have fallen behind on their utility bills.

 

The specific state funded programs consist of the below and correlate to the type of utility services received:

Utility Service:

State Program:

Program Administered by:

 

Water and Wastewater

California Water and Wastewater
Arrearage Payment Program (CWWAPP)

California Water Board

Electric

California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP)

California Department of
Community Services & Development

 

Riverside Public Utilities’ customers do not need to apply for these newly funded programs.

Based on guidance, qualifications, and availability of funds received from the state, RPU will determine your eligibility and apply on your behalf. A customer’s RPU account will be automatically credited based on the eligible amount owed and funding available from the state. Electric, water and/or wastewater customers will receive the below notifications by mail based on their utility services received from RPU, introducing each of the state programs:

 

Customers will receive a separate notification letter by mail should their account be credited.

We Are Here For You:

We know that during the COVID-19 pandemic many Riverside Public Utilities’ customers experienced financial hardship and we are here to help. If you still have a balance after your account has been credited, you may also be eligible for other assistance programs or payment plans that can be applied toward your remaining balance. Visit RiversidePublicUtilities.com/Assistance to learn more.

CWWAPP

Learn more about program qualifications.

CWWAPP Program Qualifications

CAPP

Learn more about program qualifications.

CAPP Program Qualifications

 

   

Frequently Asked Questions:

The state recently established the California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP) that will help pay customers’ electric utility bills that went unpaid during the pandemic, anytime between March 4, 2020, and June 15, 2021, incurring a past due balance of 60 days or more.

Additionally, the state also established the California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program (CWWAPP) to help pay customers’ water and wastewater bills that went unpaid between March 4, 2020, and June 15, 2021. This program prioritizes the water part of your bill; wastewater charges may be covered if the state has sufficient funding.

These programs are not income-based programs, so if you are eligible, we will apply funds directly to your account and notify you by mail if and when we do so. These programs will prioritize assistance per state guidance and are subject to state funding.

No. RPU staff is reviewing the state guidelines of these programs and determining which customers are eligible and will apply to the state of California to receive funding on your behalf.

If RPU determines your account is eligible for California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program (CWWAPP) or California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP), we will credit your account and notify you by mail of the amount we are able to credit based on the funding we receive from the state of California. If you still have a remaining balance after your account has been credited, we will offer you a payment plan. You also might be eligible for other assistance programs that can be applied toward your remaining balance.

The CAPP program requires RPU to waive any late fees or interest associated with your electric bill that you otherwise would have been charged. At this time, the state has not yet determined if the CWWAPP program will cover late charges and interest. However, we will be offering payment plans for any remaining balances. A separate program called the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP) covers late charges and interest, along with the actual charges for water and wastewater service, up to a maximum $1,000 one-time benefit per household. Go to csd.ca.gov for more information.

No, it will not. CAPP and CWAPP were established specifically to help with economic issues caused by COVID-19. The programs only cover the relief period from March 4, 2020, to June 15, 2021. If you have had trouble paying your bill during other times, we can refer you to other assistance programs available. Visit RiversidePublicUtilities.com/Assistance for more information

While RPU has yet determined a date to resume traditional billing operations and utility service disconnections for non-payment, it is on the horizon.

The California Arrearage Payment Program provides consumer protections. If you’re eligible for the program, once RPU applies funds to your account, a shutoff cannot occur in the following 90 days. It is still your responsibility to pay your bill after that. Remember: A customer shutoff is a last resort measure. If you still have trouble paying your bills after CAPP assistance, we can arrange a payment plan for you.

In addition, the CWWAPP program added a new law that says water cannot be shut off until either of the following situations occur, whichever is later: September 30, 2021; or
After a customer is offered a payment plan for any remaining balance and the customer misses the deadline to apply or misses a payment.

Receiving other types of bill assistance does not exclude you from eligibility for CAPP or CWWAPP benefits. However, you must meet qualifications for each program which are also subject to state funding received. RPU will apply on your behalf for CAPP/CWWAPP assistance per the guidance and qualification received from the state.

The law(s) creating the California Arrearage Payment Program (CAPP) and the California Water and Wastewater Arrearage Payment Program (CWWAPP) requires our utility to offer a payment plan that will help customers like you pay down your remaining balance.

You may also be eligible for other state and local assistance programs if you meet income eligibility requirements. Learn more about other state assistance programs and apply at https://csd.ca.gov/.

CAPP: Yes. Commercial customers are eligible for CAPP. You must be on our commercial electric rate to be eligible and also have past-due bills of 60 days or more between March 4, 2020, and June 15, 2021.

The law establishing CAPP created prioritization for the funding. RPU is obligated to first provide funding to our eligible residential customers. If there are remaining funds, they will be used to help our commercial customers that have eligible past-due bills.

CWWAPP: Yes. If you are a commercial RPU customer, you may be eligible for CWWAPP assistance. We will determine your eligibility.

No. CAPP only pays for the electric portion of your bill, while CWWAPP only pays for the water (and wastewater, if funding is available) portion of your bill. The state did not establish a program for waste/garbage. You are still responsible for those charges. If you are a renter, the COVID-19 Rent Relief Program may provide funding for trash/garbage service. You will need to apply for assistance at Housingiskey.com.

Yes, if there is sufficient funding. The CAPP/CWWAPP programs can cover both active and inactive accounts that have unpaid balances.

The state approved the CAPP and CWWAPP programs only for residential and commercial customers who were at least 60 days behind on their bill at the end of the billing period as of June 15, 2021. Under the state program, if you are current on your bill or are less than 60 days past due, your account does not qualify for these programs. We are required to implement the state’s laws as they are written.

However, we have other programs that may help reduce your energy bill. Find out more at RiversidePublicUtilities.com/Assistance.

 

For additional information contact:

Riverside Public Utilities Customer Service
Email: RPUCS@RiversideCA.gov
Phone: (951) 782-0330