HARRISBURG, Pa. — Capital Region Water announced Tuesday it set to resume service terminations for delinquent accounts in April, and urged customers who are behind on their payments to utilize the company's Customer Assistance Program to help.
Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, terminations due to delinquency were suspended to lessen the burden on customers facing job losses or other hardship brought on by the economic slowdown, the company said.
To address a growing rate of delinquency, Capital Region Water said it will be reinstating service terminations for past due accounts.
“It is our goal to keep customers connected”, said Capital Region Water CEO Charlotte Katzenmoyer. “We have a Customer Assistance Program designed to prevent customers from falling behind on their accounts. There is no need to wait. Contact us to arrange a payment plan or apply for credit assistance.”
Capital Region Water voluntarily complied with the state's Emergency Order suspending service terminations last year, even though it is not subject to the oversight of the PA Public Utility Commission, the company said.
When coupled with a previous moratorium on winter service shutdowns, Capital Region Water has not terminated any delinquent accounts for 16 months, the company said.
As a result, Capital Region Water said it is "experiencing a subsequent financial impact as customer bills accumulate and requests for assistance lag."
Capital Region Water customers can call the company's Customer Service Center at 888-510-0606 to discuss account specifics.
The company said it will also host a virtual Q&A session for customers at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 18, where details about the Customer Assistance Program will be provided.
Meeting details can be found under the events calendar at capitalregionwater.com.
"As a municipal authority, Capital Region Water does not make a profit," the company said. "All rate revenue is invested back into the operation and improvement of our water systems. The inability to collect millions of dollars in past due balances could threaten the ability to ensure all customers continue to have clean, safe drinking water and wastewater services at affordable rates.
"Between March 20, 2020 and January 22, 2021, Capital Region Water experienced a 16.6% increase in the accounts receivable balance of past due accounts. Capital Region Water intends to equitably remedy the rate of unpaid accounts to avoid passing the significant loss of revenue on to all customers."
The company added it will continue to pursue alternative funding to assist customers and provide relief, including an allocation of the low-income water and wastewater ratepayer assistance passed in the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act passed in late 2020.