California Water Service Group (Group) and its subsidiaries in California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Washington today finalized donations of nearly $500,000 to customers impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and community organizations in its service areas.
With unemployment and furloughs having risen drastically across its service areas, Group and its subsidiaries have been working to provide meaningful relief to customers who lost their jobs or were otherwise hard hit financially. Through its charitable grant program, the company has forgiven a portion of customers’ past-due water bill balances for those who fell behind during the pandemic. The amount forgiven, which were reflected in customers’ recent bills, totaled more than $402,000.
“Our purpose is to enhance the quality of life in the communities we serve,” said Martin A. Kropelnicki, Group President and CEO. “With that in mind, as we work to ensure our customers always have a reliable supply of safe, high-quality water for their everyday and emergency needs, we took these steps to further support those in our communities who have been particularly impacted by the pandemic.”
Additionally, together with its employees, Utility Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO locals, and International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers local union, the company raised more than $88,200, which was distributed to medical and charitable organizations in its local service areas.
Beyond these measures, all Group subsidiaries continue to suspend water service shutoffs for customers who are unable to pay their water bill during this time. The company urges customers who cannot pay their bill to contact their local Customer Center in order to make longer-term arrangements that are tailored for their individual needs to avoid having to deal with large balances in the future.
All contributions made, including bill forgiveness, are from Group’s company-funded philanthropic giving program and do not affect customer rates.