Access to clean and affordable drinking water is often taken for granted. Yet many water utilities struggle to offer or communicate effectively about financial assistance programs to disadvantaged households. Additionally, utilities are under pressure to increase rates in order to cover the costs associated with aging infrastructure. These competing pressures challenge utilities to balance equity, revenue, and transparency when making decisions.
This WaterSide Chat features George Hawkins, the CEO and GM for DC Water. George has over 20 years of experience in the public sector and is a White House Appointee for the National Infrastructure Advisory Council. At DC Water, he gained approval to triple the rate of DC Water’s program in order to replace their aging infrastructure. George will discuss how he has implemented customer assistance programs to help disadvantaged households pay their water bills as rates have increased by 35% in the past two years. In this WaterSide Chat, George Hawkins discusses how he has increased assistance program participation, reduced payment delinquencies, and improved the utility’s S&P credit rating.