San Francisco to Suspend Power and Water Shutoffs, Waive Penalties and Interest for Delinquent Payments
Both SFPUC and SFMTA implement policies as part of City’s Local Emergency response to COVID-19 pandemic
San Francisco, CA — Mayor London N. Breed today announced that the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC) will no longer shut off water or power for delinquent payments, and that both the SFPUC and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) will no longer add penalties on to delinquent payments during the City’s Local Emergency response to coronavirus. These actions are part of the City’s response to reduce financial impacts on individuals during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We are continuing to implement policies to protect our residents who are struggling due to loss of income during this challenging public health crisis,” said Mayor Breed. “As we did with suspending residential evictions, this is about making sure that everyone can be safe and healthy at a time when we all should be focusing on public health.”
“Many working families have been severely hit with the loss in wages due to COVID-19,” said Supervisor Ahsha Safai. “They are concerned how they will pay their rent, let alone their utility bills. I am glad that the SFPUC and SFMTA are providing much needed relief by waiving shut offs and delinquent payments. I look forward to working with the Mayor and my colleagues to see what additional supports we can provide to working families during this time of crisis”
“We must do everything in our power to relieve pressure on working people in San Francisco as we collectively face this crisis,” said San Francisco Supervisor Hillary Ronen. “We must delay or eliminate every bill we can to make it as easy as possible to heed the advice of our public health officials.”
The San Francisco Public Utilities Commission is suspending for 60 days the following:
- The discontinuation or shut off of water service for residents and businesses in San Francisco for non-payment of water and sewer bills,
- The imposition of late payment penalties or fees for delinquent water and/or sewer bills,
- The discontinuation or shut off of power service for SFPUC Hetch Hetchy Power Customers in San Francisco for non-payment of power bills,
- The imposition of late payment penalties or fees for delinquent Hetch Hetchy Power Customer accounts, and
- The return of delinquent CleanPowerSF Customers to PG&E generation service for failure to pay CleanPowerSF charges.
“Our top priority is to continue to deliver water, power and sewer services to all customers during this difficult time,” said Harlan L. Kelly, Jr, General Manager of the SFPUC. “This effort allows us to do that and gives customers the peace of mind that loss of income won’t impact access to these essential life services.”
The SFMTA will take the following the actions until further notice:
- Suspend new late penalties on citations,
- Extend deadlines for submitting citation protests, and
- No longer forward additional delinquent citations to the Department of Motor Vehicles or Special Collections.
“Our agency is committed to doing our part in providing much needed relief for San Franciscans impacted by the COVID-19 emergency” said Jeffrey Tumlin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “We know that penalties in difficult times are a burden, and we’re also sensitive to the need to limit in-person transactions.”
Public Health Orders and recommendations from the San Francisco Department of Public Health can be found at sfdph.org/dph/alerts/coronavirus.asp. Mayoral Declarations regarding COVID-19 can be found at sfmayor.org/mayoral-declarations-regarding-covid-19. You can also call 311 and sign up for the City’s alert service for official updates: text COVID19SF to 888-777.
Remember, these are the best ways for all San Franciscans to reduce their risk of getting sick, and preventing COVID-19:
- Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your cough or sneeze.
- Stay home if you are sick.
- Avoid touching your face.
- Try alternatives to shaking hands, like a wave.
- If you have recently returned from a country, state or region with ongoing COVID-19 infections, monitor your health and follow the instructions of public health officials.
- There is no recommendation to wear masks at this time to prevent yourself from getting sick.
You can also prepare for the possible disruption caused by an outbreak:
- Prepare to work from home if that is possible for your job, and your employer.
- Make sure you have a supply of all essential medications for your family.
- Prepare a child care plan if you or a caregiver are sick.
- Make arrangements about how your family will manage a school closure.
- Plan for how you can care for a sick family member without getting sick yourself.
- Take care of each other and check in by phone with friends, family and neighbors that are vulnerable to serious illness or death if they get COVID-19.
- Keep common spaces clean to help maintain a healthy environment for you and others. Frequently touched surfaces should be cleaned regularly with disinfecting sprays, wipes or common household cleaning products.