San Francisco Water, Power and Sewer's Community Assistance Program (CAP) has introduced new participation requirements. The ‘Frequently Asked Questions’ listed below can help answer many common questions about the new program. If you need further assistance, please contact the Customer Service Bureau for more information at (415) 551-3000.
Q: What is considered household income?
A: Household income is defined as the combined gross income of ALL persons who live in the household, whether taxable or non-taxable. Gross income includes, but is not limited to the total income from: wages, salaries, pensions, unemployment benefits, disability payments, workers compensation, profit from self- employment (IRS Form 1040 Schedule C), child or spousal support, interest or dividends from savings accounts, stocks, bonds retirement accounts, rent or royalty income, cash income or gifts, scholarships, grants, or other aid used for living expenses, insurance or legal settlements, Social Security, SSI, SSP, food stamps, or TANF (AFDC).
Q: What documentation do I need to submit as proof of income?
A: You are required to submit the most recent, signed copy of your Federal Income Tax Return.
If your Federal Tax Return is not available, enter the reason on the application and submit all applicable documents with your application: W-2 form; or Social Security Benefit Statement; or copy of Social Security Check or SSI Check; or Award Letter for CALWORKS, CAPI, General Relief, or Food Stamps; or two (2) consecutive paycheck stubs; or Unemployment Benefits statement.
Q: What kind of documentation do I need to submit as proof of occupancy?
A: Each household member should submit his/her own individual income documentation as listed above, with their name and address printed on the form. Any dependents or other individuals in the household without income (i.e., children, elderly, non-working) should either appear as a dependent on the Federal Tax Return of another household member, or should submit a copy of a recent recurring bill, bank statement, or other type of correspondence that includes the name of the household member and the service address of the water bill.
Q: When will I start receiving my CAP discount?
A: The CAP discount will be included in your summary of charges within one to two billing cycles after you have:
1) Received a letter from San Francisco Water, Power and Sewer stating your household meets the program requirements and that all required verifications of household income and occupancy have been received. You will receive instructions to schedule the efficiency evaluation at this time.
2) Completed the home Water-Wise evaluation.
Q: I’m a tenant. Do I need my landlord’s permission to participate in your programs?
A: The Water Wise evaluation provides education and water conservation resources that do not require the property owner’s permission to participate. If your household is eligible for replacement of plumbing devices or toilets, San Francisco Water, Power and Sewer will provide you with documentation to request the property owner/manager’s permission. In many cases the evaluation will help identify plumbing inefficiencies that will be the responsibility of the property owner to repair and can help save you money on water and wastewater bills.
Q: What happens at the Water-Wise evaluation?
A: The Water-Wise evaluation is one of our most popular programs, providing a free on-site consultation from a water efficiency expert. A water conservation specialist will walk through your home with you, providing information on how water is used and point out inefficient plumbing fixtures and leaks that can increase water bills. Evaluators will also provide free high-efficiency showerheads, faucet aerators, and replacement parts for toilets found leaking, such as flappers and fill valves if needed.
As a special, limited-time offer to CAP customers, we will also assess your eligibility for free replacement and installation of old, water-guzzling toilets with new efficient models. Free toilets and installation will be provided to interested and eligible CAP customers while funds last. The toilet replacement program is expected to end in 2013.
Q: Why do CAP customers need to participate in the on-site Water-Wise evaluation program?
A: We hope that eligible customers will benefit from the savings provided by the CAP’s discounted water and wastewater service. In return, we ask that you partner with us to ensure that each CAP household is water efficient, protecting our valuable water resources. The home evaluation will help to identify plumbing fixture inefficiencies and leaks and educate customers on water conserving behaviors. All services are provided free of charge by our water conservation program.
Q: Am I required to have an evaluation to complete my CAP application or to re-enroll in the program?
A: Yes. A Water-Wise evaluation is mandatory for new applicants to start receiving the CAP discount. If your household meets the program guidelines, you will receive written notification advising you to contact the Water Conservation section to schedule the Water-Wise evaluation. You will have up to 30 days from the date of the letter to schedule the evaluation and up to 60 days from the scheduled date to complete the evaluation. In addition, customers currently participating in CAP must schedule an evaluation at the time of re-enrollment if they have not previously had a Water-Wise Evaluation performed at their home.
If your water usage exceeds an acceptable range of daily water use per household occupant, you will be required to schedule an additional Water-Wise evaluation. Existing CAP customers may also participate at any time by calling (415) 551-4790.
Many customers enjoy the evaluation as an opportunity to learn more about water conservation and further reduce water bills. If you would like to decline the evaluation, we respect your decision and will discontinue your participation in CAP.
Q: Do I have to replace toilets and plumbing devices?
A: No. If your toilet qualifies to be replaced for free, you may decline the offer. Please note that homes with inefficient plumbing fixtures will continue to experience higher water bills. Did you know that toilets can account for 30% of household indoor water use? The average customer will save an additional $200 per year by replacing an older, water-guzzling toilet model.
San Francisco Water, Power and Sewer provides plumbing fixtures and devices that have been thoroughly tested and meet the highest plumbing standards.
Q: I received a letter saying that I do not qualify for the CAP program because I did not schedule an evaluation within 30 days, but I already had an appointment with a field service inspector.
A: Please call the Water Conservation section at (415) 551-4790 to confirm that you received a Water-Wise evaluation. “High-bill” inspections do not qualify as a Water-Wise evaluation.