San Francisco, CA –The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is launching a new program on Friday that will provide 20 percent discounts off water and sewer bills to help small businesses and nonprofit organizations cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are facing the tough reality that this pandemic is not going away anytime soon, and we know what kind of pressures that puts on the business and nonprofit communities as they work to recover,” said SFPUC General Manager Harlan L. Kelly, Jr. “Offering discounted sewer and water rates for small businesses and nonprofits can help them focus their resources on their core services. We are doing our small part to help these entities emerge from this pandemic stronger and more resilient.”
To qualify for the 20 percent discount, small businesses and nonprofit organizations must show the following:
An active water and wastewater account from the SFPUC that is not for residential of municipal use. The account must be in the name of the nonprofit or business, or in the name of its owner and manager. Landlords and property managers cannot apply on behalf of their tenants.
- A demonstrated loss of income related to COVID-19 or the shelter-in-place orders that are resulting in financial hardships.
- A maximum of 50 full-time employees before the shelter-in-place order began on March 16.
- The discount program will be available until December 31, or until funds for the initiative run out.
More information on the program, including how to apply can be found at sfwater.org/commercialCOVID.
The discount program follows the SFPUC’s successful launch in May of an emergency residential discount program for residential customers suffering loss of income due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
That initiatives offers discounts of 35 percent off sewer bills, 30 percent off Hetch Hetchy Power bills and 15 percent off water bills for eligible customers. To date, more than 4,928 residents have applied for that discount, which was enacted on a short-term, emergency basis.
The SFPUC already offers discounted rates to customers whose income makes them eligible under federal guidelines through its Community Assistance Program
(CAP). The agency is working to proactively reach out to customers who may qualify for this longer-term savings program. Customers in those programs will continue to receive benefits following the expiration of the emergency CAP expansion.
Community members can learn more about the various bill relief programs on offer at: sfwater.org/bill relief.
Along with launching the residential and nonprofit and business assistance programs, the SFPUC has suspended water and power shutoffs
due to late payments. The agency has also postponed liens and collections, waived late fees and provided rental payment deferments for tenants of our facilities.
The SFPUC also partnered with its private contracting firms to support more than 45 small businesses in the Bayview
with $150,000 in grant funding. In addition, the agency worked with NextEra Energy Resources to provide $170,000 for COVID-19 relief efforts
in Blythe, California—a community in Southern California that will supply renewable energy to nearly 380,000 CleanPowerSF customers in San Francisco.
About the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) is a department of the City and County of San Francisco. It delivers drinking water to 2.7 million people in the San Francisco Bay Area, collects and treats wastewater for the City and County of San Francisco, and generates clean power for municipal buildings, residential customers, and businesses. Our mission is to provide our customers with high quality, efficient and reliable water, power, and sewer services in a manner that values environmental and community interests and sustains the resources entrusted to our care. Learn more at www.sfwater.org.