What is utility relief?
- Almost 5,000 residential accounts will see a dramatic reduction or a total forgiveness of delinquent balances in March 2022.
- Up to $2,500 in delinquency was forgiven from each account.
Who gets utility relief?
- All accounts that were residential, active, within city limits, and had a balance that was 60+ days past its bill date as of the end of February 2022 were eligible for Utility Relief.
- 4,957 accounts. For reference there are about 34,000 to 36,000 residential active accounts within City limits.
- Go to https://southbendin.gov/utilityrelief/ to see a heat map of all of the accounts and how this Utility Relief was distributed across the City. Out of all of these accounts, an average of $631 was forgiven and a median of $418 was forgiven. Only 55 accounts received the max $2,500 forgiveness and were left with a balance. The rest, about 99% of eligible accounts, were fully forgiven.
- If you feel you didn't need utility relief, we recommend you donate the money to a favorite local charity or spend it at one of South Bend’s wonderful local businesses.
- If you think you should have received utility relief, please either call 311 or fill out this Utility Relief 2022 Inquiry Form to submit an inquiry. Thank you!
When does utility relief happen?
- Relief will be automatically applied during the March or April bill cycle.
How does utility relief happen?
- In your next utility bill, if you were an impacted customer, you will see a credit line that says “Utility Relief 2022” with a corresponding amount.
- There is no application required. Relief will be automatically applied during the March 2022 or April 2022 bill cycle.
Why is utility relief happening?
- The goal of Utility Relief was just that – relief. To provide a quick, easy relief for residents with no applications, bureaucracy, or hoops to jump through. The City designed this program to hit as many utility accounts as possible that seemed to be in distress. The goal was to err on the side of being generous. That being said, forgiveness was capped at $2500. This cap is high enough to fully forgive 99% of eligible accounts, leaving out some high outliers who still remain in delinquency.
- $3,126,726.30 was spent on Utility Relief. These funds came from the American Rescue dollars received from the City from the federal government in 2021. The Mayor proposed that a portion of the funds be spent on Utility Relief and Council approved the use of the funds during the 2022 budget cycle.
How can I get more help with paying my utilities bill?
Please apply for any and all programs you might be eligible for, in particular: