Philadelphia, May 15, 2019 – City officials on Wednesday joined American Water Resources (AWR) representatives to announce that a new water and sewer line protection partnership has already saved Philadelphia homeowners more than $1 million in the first six months of enrollment.
The program, a partnership between AWR and the Philadelphia Energy Authority (PEA), an independent creation of City Council, has enrolled more than 57,000 homeowners across the city, allowing them to purchase optional low-cost protection plans for the service lines that extend from city water and sewer mains to the home. The maintenance and repairs of these service lines are the responsibility of the homeowner and are not covered by most homeowners insurance.
Standing alongside homeowners, city officials encouraged Philadelphia residents to take the proactive step of protecting their water and sewer lines to stave off unexpected and unaffordable repair costs.
“I am a huge proponent of the American Water Resources water and sewer line protection program. Thousands of 4th District homeowners have taken advantage of the program and will be covered if the unexpected occurs to the lines that serve their home,” Councilmember Curtis Jones, Jr., said. “I am thankful to the Philadelphia Energy Authority for coordinating the program. It has been a great success.”
“As many people are aware, Philadelphia is the poorest large city in the nation. With 26 percent of our population living in poverty, the unfortunate reality is that most residents do not have an emergency reserve for basic, fundamental life expenses like mortgage and utility payments – let alone a fund for unexpected costly home repairs,” Councilmember Derek Green (At-Large) said. “The fact that this program, which creates a safety net for homeowners in the event of a broken sewer or water line, now exists is tremendous. I applaud American Water Resources and the Philadelphia Energy Authority on this partnership, for the early success of this program and for their continued efforts to educate our citizens about the benefits.”
AWR’s programs and partnership with the PEA are facilitated in cooperation with the Philadelphia Water, Streets, and Licenses and Inspections (L+I) departments. The water and sewer line programs are available at the low monthly price of $7.98 a month with unlimited protection for covered repairs for both programs. Enrollment in the program comes with 24-hour support, a one-year warranty on covered repairs, and all work performed by an independent local insured contractor provided by AWR.
Philadelphia homeowner Geraldine Robinson said the AWR-PEA partnership helped her parents save thousands of dollars for line repairs, and encouraged all Philadelphia homeowners to take this proactive step toward financial security.
“Both my parents and I are customers of American Water Resources, and as caretaker to my parents I recently helped them file a claim at their home in North Philadelphia when they needed their water line repaired. This repair would have cost thousands of dollars and been a huge burden on our family,” Robinson said. “American Water Resources lifted this burden by doing what they said they would do: fixing the water line and restoring the street and sidewalk at no additional cost. The city needs more programs like this to keep homeownership affordable for all.”
“In Philadelphia, homeowners are responsible for maintaining their water service lines and sewer laterals, which can be costly. The Water Department offers a HELP loan program to customers with exterior home plumbing issues, but our customers have expressed the desire for a proactive protection program that is affordable and that provides peace of mind when a problem occurs,” Acting Water Commissioner Sarah Stevenson said. “We are happy to partner with the Philadelphia Energy Authority and American Water Resources on this protection program because it helps to ease the burden on homeowners and allows them to maintain and keep their home plumbing systems in good repair.”
“The response from Philadelphia homeowners has been remarkable. This program is clearly needed in Philadelphia, where everyone knows someone who has had to pay thousands of dollars to repair a failed water or sewer line,”PEA Executive Director Emily Schapira said. “We are proud to offer this low-cost option for homeowners and contribute to energy savings for PWD at the same time.”
“We are thrilled to be able to provide this important service – and the peace of mind that comes with avoiding unexpected service line repairs – to homeowners across Philadelphia,” AWR President Eric Palm added. “In the first six months of our partnership, customers have experienced the value in a service line protection program that goes beyond the limits of standard homeowners’ insurance policies. We will continue to expand our relationships in the community and educate homeowners on how they can protect against expensive home repair costs in the event an issue arises.”
Authorized by Council to further clean and affordable energy goals, PEA administers the $1 billion Philadelphia Energy Campaign to advance energy efficiency in buildings across the City, collect significant cost savings for property owners and taxpayers, help Philadelphia achieve its sustainability goals, and create 10,000 jobs over 10 years.