Governor Approves COVID-19 Relief Program for Utility Assistance
Governor Gavin Newsom has recently signed into law Assembly Bills AB 148 and AB 135. These Bills allow Burbank Water and Power (BWP) to apply for funds that will provide bill credits to residential and commercial customers with past due balances for electric and water charges that accrued between March 4, 2020, through June 15, 2021, because of a hardship due to the pandemic.
The COVID-19 relief funds, to assist with electric outstanding customer debt, are available through AB 135 will be managed and distributed by California Department of Community Services and Development (CSD), and AB 148 funds to assist with water and wastewater outstanding customer debt will be managed and distributed by the California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB.)
BWP will apply directly to the State on behalf of customers who are behind in their payments during these time periods due to COVID. CSD and SWRCB will determine the amount of funding and disbursement guidelines for all utilities in California.
Once BWP is awarded an allocation of funds, credits will be applied directly to the accounts of residential and commercial customers accounts according to State guidelines. Customers will not be required to complete an application. The funds in both cases will be distributed by the State to BWP no later than January 31, 2022.
In July, the Burbank City Council approved a separate COVID-19 relief program designed by BWP. The Low-Income Residential Assistance program will provide an electric bill credit in the amount of $50 for residential customers who were impacted by the pandemic. Anchoring on the City of Burbank's Program, Activity, and Service Subsidy (PASS) Program, this new assistance program will provide eligible customers additional support for those with outstanding debt. The Low-Income Residential Assistance Program is scheduled to launch October 1, 2021. On the day the program launches, customers may apply online at BurbankWaterandPower.com.
“We are thankful to the state legislature for creating COVD-19 Relief Programing to alleviate some of the financial burdens experienced by our resident and commercial customers," said BWP General Manager Dawn Roth Lindell. "The City of Burbank and BWP will update the community once the funds have been allocated to BWP and how those credits will be made to the residents and businesses."
For updates about this specific program and additional information about current Burbank Water and Power COVID-19 financial assistance programs, visit https://burbankwaterandpower.com/covidbwp.
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BWP is a community-owned utility that provides reliable, affordable, and sustainable water and electric services to more than 55,000 residential and business customers in the City of Burbank. BWP has been operating for over 100 years, has received national recognition for providing reliable, affordable, and sustainable power and water - including nine years as an American Public Power Association RP3 Diamond level provider.
Burbank is a diverse community of 103,000 residents. Billed as the "Media Capital of the World," numerous media and entertainment companies are headquartered in Burbank, including Warner Bros. Entertainment, The Walt Disney Company, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Netflix Animation, and Cartoon Network Studios. With the Hollywood Burbank Airport located within the City, Burbank is a go-to destination for business and tourism. Additionally, Burbank is known for its walkable and safe neighborhoods, well-run school district, and "small town" charm.