Water Affordability Study
D.C. Makes Water Affordability Possible for District Residents In June 2022, staff of The Office of the People’s Counsel (OPC) attended the 2022 National Energy & Utility Affordability Coalition (NEUAC) conference in New Orleans, LA. OPC contracted the technical consulting firm, APPRISE, to conduct a Water Affordability Study for the District of Columbia (“District”) prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic. These findings were discussed during the 2022 NEUAC conference. The findings from the study found many shortcomings in the access to financial assistance for many Districts residents prior to the COVID-19 Pandemic. The District is comprised primarily of multifamily properties, which made access to financial assistance for water bills virtually unattainable for many households that would otherwise be eligible for assistance. The APPRISE Water Affordability study also found that many eligible District residents simply were not enrolled in the Department of Energy and Environment (DOEE) Customer Assistance Program (CAP) that could assist with the monthly financial burden of their water bills. The Study notes:
- Of the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) eligible residents, 78% were not enrolled in CAP.
- Of the non-SNAP eligible residents, 89% were not enrolled in CAP
- Of the eligible moderate-income residents, 99% were not enrolled in CAP.